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Entries in Skype (2)

Thursday
Oct042012

Father in Iraq Watches Birth of Twins Via Skype

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WHITEFISH, Mont.) -- No mountain was high enough, no river was wide enough, and no valley was low enough to keep one Montana man from watching the birth of his baby twins on Sept. 25 at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish, Mont.

Jon Zimbelman, 31, Skyped with his wife, Erin, all the way from Basrah, Iraq, where he works as a contractor in the private sector, to watch the delivery of his now-2-week-old twins, Braylon and Brielle.

Erin Zimbelman, 32, of Kalispell, Mont., was worried the hospital might not allow the Skype session to occur, but got the final approval just in time for the babies to arrive.

“I just told him, go get to hard line, go to your office, be ready,” Zimbelman told ABC News.

Because Zimbelman was giving birth to twins, the delivery had to take place in the operating room, where Internet connections are not normally allowed. The anesthesiologist had the final say, and he eventually agreed to allow the iPad in the room.

Zimbelman said she’s gotten nothing but positive feedback about the experience.

“I hope other people will be able to do it, or that hospitals won’t say ‘no’ right away. That was my main concern. No one gave me an answer until the day of, a couple hours before we were doing it all, so it was really nerve-racking,” Zimbelman said.

But the pregnancy also had its complications.

Zimbelman’s mother unexpectedly passed away on July 6, so he used the one trip allowed to him to return home for her funeral.

“My husband’s mom died and so he had to come home for that instead of coming home for the birth,” Zimbelman said. “He had visa entry issues. It was only a one-entry visa.”

So she had to come up with a plan B for him to still be there for the babies.

“I haven’t heard of anybody doing it,” Zimbelman said. “I don’t know if I’m the first or whatnot. But I had to come up with plan B.”

The hospital, knowing she’d need extra help pulling off the Skyping idea, allowed Zimbelman’s friend in the delivery room.

“He got to the see the babies before me, so he was excited,” said Zimbelman. “My girlfriend held up the iPad so he could watch everything that was going on. He said it was life-changing for him. A couple years ago, this would be impossible.”

Zimbelman was worried about the Internet connection working properly because, “Usually Iraq has pretty bad Internet connection, but it was flawless the whole way through.”

The babies are now happy and healthy, but still awaiting their first meeting in person with their father. Hopefully, he can make it home for the holidays.

“They’re doing great,” Zimbelman said. “They are the best babies. They’re sleeping good and are just precious.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul162012

How Social Media Is Spurring Plastic Surgery

Courtesy Dr. Richard Ellenbogen(LOS ANGELES) -- Triana Lavey was about to undergo a radical transformation. And she was doing it for a radical reason. She wanted to look better online.

With the help of Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, she was changing her chin, her nose and the shape of her face.

Lavey is a 37-year-old television producer in Los Angeles. For work and socially, she spends a lot of time on Skype, Facebook and other sites. She said she didn't like the face staring back at her from her computer screen.

"I have been self-conscious about my chin, and it's all stemming from these Facebook photos," she told ABC News correspondent Cecilia Vega.

The more she saw herself online, the more she said she wanted to change.

"I think that social media has really changed so much about how we look at ourselves and judge ourselves," Lavey said. "Ten years ago, I don't think I even noticed that I had a weak chin."

Lavey tried to change the camera angle. She even untagged herself in photos she didn't like. But none of it was enough.

"Here is a weak-chin photo that I didn't untag myself in ... because I was working out really hard that summer, and I am pleased with everything else in the photo," Lavey said. "But it's my darn chin that bugs the living daylights out of me in this photo. ... You keep looking and looking, and now it's the first thing I look for in a photo. It all started with Facebook."

Surgery was the only way to fix it. Simply cutting down her social media use wasn't an option.

"That can't happen. ... Where my career is headed and the industry is headed, I have to be on social media," Lavey said.

Lavey is not alone. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, chin augmentations have increased 71 percent in the last year. Doctors confirm that more and more patients are asking for the Facebook facelift -- plastic surgery for the iPhone generation.

At Lavey's consultation, Ellenbogen showed her what her new online-ready face would look like.

Ellenbogen explained that augmenting the chin should be balanced by adjustments to the rest of the face with procedures like fat grafting -- adding a bit of fat to the face -- and rhinoplasty (a nose job).

Given that social media are supposed to make life easier, did Lavey feel she was doing something extreme?

"Plastic surgery should be a last-ditch effort," she said. "It should be after you work out, after you diet."

"I am blessed; I can afford it," she said. "I feel really lucky. I have worked my butt off, and I feel like if I can afford it, if it's something I can do to feel good and feel confident, why not? It's 2012."

The surgery Lavey got costs between $12,000 and $15,000, Ellenbogen said. Lavey is a friend, so she got a discount.

Is our eager embrace of social media creating a culture of Internet narcissism? And can't we just move the webcam to improve the angle from which it shoots us?

"It definitely is, and most people should do that," Ellenbogen said, "but there are people who have tried to do that, to make themselves more attractive, and they just need a little bit of a boost."

More than a month after her surgery, Lavey was ready to show her 692 Facebook friends her new face.

She said she felt more confident.

"It extends all the way from Skyping with people [to] having people tag me in a Facebook photo," she said. "If the camera comes out at a party ... I am fine with it. I am excited to see them. Before, I used to want to hold my chin, but now I want to show my face."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio