Missouri family uses technology to continue a decades-old tradition


SPRINGFIELD, Mo – Life with a newborn child is known to be very stressful, well, try having a newborn baby during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s what happened with Carl and Michaela Conrad. Their new son, Thomas, is just one week old.

They described the hospital during the time of labor as a ghost town and having to pass through several checkpoints throughout the building.

Courtesy: Michaela Conrad

Carl and Michaela said in an interview that the worst part about giving birth during COVID-19 did not have friends and family there to celebrate. Instead, the new family of three had to turn to technology to show their new baby boy.

This isn’t the only time the Conrads have used technology to talk with the rest of their family. Michaela shared a special moment with her grandpa with the help of technology.

Courtesy: Michaela Conrad

“He had a pretty severe stroke several years ago, and this last year we decided as a family to utilize a nursing home,” Michaela said.

Since COVID-19, nursing homes have been on high alert, some not even allowing guests to visit. So how were the Conrads going to show baby Thomas to their grandpa? FaceTime.

“I received a call from my aunt, who is our main go-to person when it comes to the nursing home. She says, ‘well, I just got a phone call from the nursing home, and the nursing home purchased an iPad so now they can FaceTime with him,'” said Michaela.

This meant a great deal to Michaela because after her grandpa’s stroke, she took care of him for a couple of weeks.

“Him and I would go on these walks and, we’d have this really great time to bond,” she said.

Michaela says that her grandpa was a gospel singer in the 70’s so she and her sisters were raised singing when they would go to their grandparent’s house. When Michaela and her sisters were younger, they would spend the night at their grandparent’s house, and in the morning they would hop in bed, ” With our Papa and Nunu, that’s what we called them, and our Papa would just sing to us, and he sang to us Go To Sleep You Little Baby the lullaby.”

She says that song and those memories have stuck with her.

So, since she had baby Thomas, she wanted to share that memory with her grandpa again during the FaceTime call.

During the call, you hear Michaela singing the lullaby, and you see grandpa on the phone, but you can’t quite hear him.

“Unfortunately, because of the stroke, he’s not able to sing anymore, so I was able to sing it kind of with him to our son, who is his great-grandson. It was a very sweet, very emotional moment for all of us involved,” said Michaela.

Towards the end of the video, you hear her grandpa starting to cry, then everyone in the video begins to cry.

“Something that you’ll never forget, that even in all of the chaos and the craziness, that that technology was able to connect us in a way that we wouldn’t have been able to do formally,” she said.

She says she wants everyone to have feel-good vibes after watching the video, “It’s important to be kind, and it’s important to be tender during these times.”

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