U.S. Soldier in Afghanistan Witnesses Birth of His Child


Bayhealth Medical Center

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a Frederica couple shares the love and joy of a first child…while thousands of miles apart.

On Monday morning, February 6, expectant mom Rebecca Zwyghuizen (zuh-WHY-heizen) arrived at Bayhealth – Kent General complaining of “back pain.” Bayhealth doctors quickly diagnosed the “back pain” as the signs of early labor for the 29-year-old Zwyghuizen. Her contractions were eight minutes apart and she was five centimeters dilated. It would be a long, arduous process, but she was fortunate to be surrounded by her parents, sister and in-laws, while getting guidance and attention from the Bayhealth Labor & Delivery staff.

Bayhealth also provided Skype video conferencing so that U.S. Air Force Captain Mark Zwyghuizen could be part of the special moment in real-time while thousands of miles away at his deployment in Afghanistan. For eight hours, Capt. Zwyghuizen was able to encourage his wife and share the excitement, happiness and exhaustion of the delivery which ended with a Cesarean section at 10:02 p.m. Dover time and 7:32 a.m. Afghanistan time. The captain could only cry tears of happiness when their daughter entered the world. Little Hollyn Jane Zwyghuizen weighed in at seven pounds three ounces, measuring 21 inches.

“Being able to share this moment with Mark made it a lot easier for me. Nobody can replace your best friend who is your husband,” said Rebecca Zwyghuizen. “It’s been an honor and privilege to be with all the (clinical staff) who helped us get through this so we could share the birth of our first child.”