Local business to give away free ultrasounds to military families on Father's Day
PUYALLUP, Wash. -- Alex Acosta can't say much about his most recent deployment.
The Army staff sergeant was out of state, he will tell you. That's not uncommon for Acosta, a Green Beret.
But he will reveal what it was like to find out - via live ultrasound, while he was deployed - that he and his wife were expecting a baby boy.
"It was a bit emotional and joyful at the same time," said Acosta, who has spent the past decade in the military. "I was happy and everyone high-fived each other. I thought it was pretty cool I got to be there without being there."
A South South company is giving away the technology, offering free live-streamed sonograms to 10 military families, on Father's Day.
The owner of Puyallup-based Mother Nurture Ultrasound said the idea came about, in part, from her experience as an expectant mom with a military spouse who traveled a lot.
"It's very hard. I don't know that it gets easier, but you get used to it," said Sara Gamache, the small business owner. "I knew immediately this was something I wanted to be able to provide for other families out there so they could do it."
Family and friends log in with a code through a secure website, Gamache said, and are able to see a live ultrasound, hear the baby's heartbeat, and more.
"It's important to remember not just the ones that are deployed but the spouses that are back home and how hard it is on them," Gamache added. "They're making sacrifices on both ends and so I definitely think it's important to do whatever we can to give back to them."
The winners of the giveaway will be chosen at random after entering on the company's website, Gamache said. The sonograms will be performed on Father's Day.
On Monday, Acosta got to see his son in person for the first time ever -- via high-definition ultrasound. His wife, Jessica, smiled as she watched their son move his arm and 'wave.'
"The fact that we can still share these experiences with our family, it brings a sense of normalcy, which is what you need to strive for," Jessica said. "Not having a spouse here to share these kind of things can be emotional."
Mother Nurture will also record the baby's heartbeat and place it inside a teddy bear in military uniform, shipping the stuffed animal to the father, wherever he might be, Gamache said. Similac and Babies"R"Us will be giving the families packages of free items including diaper bags, formula, and other baby gear.
"It makes the mother feel like even though her spouse is not physically here they're still being able to support them," Jessica Acosta continued. "And at the end of the day that's what any new mother needs."