Family celebrates infant’s unconventional delivery
07/29/2012 Highwood Arvind Ronta his wife Pam Kalra hold their new born baby Aaria, at their home in Highwood on Sunday, July 29, 2012. Arvind went to the hospital the day before Aaria was born with a severe fever and abdominal pain and was not able to be there for the birth. The couple communicated via FaceTime on their iPhones. | michael jarecki ~ for Sun-Times Media
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THE UNCONVENTIAL DELIVERY
MOM: Pam Kalra, in a first-floor delivery room
DAD: Arvind Ronta, in a second-floor hospital room
BABY: Aaria Ronta, born at 7:47 p.m. July 10
INTRODUCTION: Over an iPhone
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:34PM
HIGHWOOD — A Highwood couple and NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Highland Park Hospital may have unwittingly spawned a new generational nickname: The iPhone baby.
Even though Arvind Ronta and Pam Kalra were both inside the Park Avenue West hospital when their first child was born July 10, the Highwood couple were forced to celebrate the birth of daughter, Aaria, from different rooms using their iPhones. Yes, there’s an app for that: FaceTime.
Ronta was admitted to the hospital the previous day with a severe fever and abdominal pain. While awaiting test results, Kalra went into labor — two weeks earlier than expected — and doctors determined the anxious father was too ill to be allowed in the delivery room.
“I was frustrated. I was miserable. I couldn’t do anything,” Ronta said. “I tried to convince the doctor to let me be there with her, even if I could just stand outside the room, but they still didn’t know exactly what was going on with me.”
That’s when Kay Meyer, the hospital’s quick-thinking senior director of nursing, sprang into action. Realizing both husband and wife had iPhones, she set up the video chat, connecting Kalra and Ronta for their untraditional, yet unforgettable moment.
“I really wasn’t able to grasp the situation,” Kalra said last week, now back at home with her daughter and husband. “I didn’t even have time to think about the labor because my mind was thinking about him. Here I was going in to labor, and all that pain, and I hadn’t even grasped it ’til the final stages when I had to push.”
Upstairs, Ronta’s mind was racing, too.
“The nurse was holding the phone throughout the labor process,” Ronta said. “She kept me up to date with a live feed from the labor room.”
Coaching via video chat was not in the birthing plan. Neither was the frantic search for a charger and extension cord when Kalra’s phone lost its juice.
“We definitely didn’t plan for this, but it all ended well,” Kalra said.
At 7:47 p.m. July 10, Aaria Ronta was born. Dad’s first look at his daughter was through a smart phone.
“It was a fuzzy picture,” said Ronta, who was able to hold his daughter for the first time two days later after his abdominal infection was successfully treated.
With their life back to a new sense of normal, Kalra made sure to thank the Highland Park Hospital staff for their quick and creative response.
“It would have been great to have (Arvind) there, but the staff at Highland Park hospital was just awesome,” Kalra said. “They were my team and encouraging me. I didn’t have any of our family there. The staff at the hospital was my family at this point.”