Carmichael, Calif. — Social media platform Facebook encourages people to share moments in their lives via photos, videos, statuses and other posts, but one man gave sharing a whole new meaning when he livestreamed the birth of his son on the site.
Fakamalo Kihe Eiki, 36, posted a video with the caption "Let’s try pushing baby out" on Facebook Monday.
In the video, which is more than 45 minutes long, Eiki's partner, Sarah Dome, can be seen giving birth to their son, Ngangatulelei HeKelesi.
Eiki issues words of encouragement to the new mother throughout the process.
"You've got it!" he tells Dome. "He's right there! He's right there, babe."
Eiki can be heard getting impatient: "Come on, pop out son! What are you doing in there?"
When the baby's cries are heard, Eiki rejoices.
"Thank you, God," Eiki said crying. "I'm so happy right now."
And then: :Oh, he's got a full set of hair! Oh my goodness. Hi baby!"
"There's a lot of negative stuff on Facebook, and so I thought this would be positive," Eiki told People. "I figured as long as I kept it PG -- this is a birth -- it's something to be happy about."
"It is a beautiful thing, nothing to be ashamed of. And it didn't show too much so I'm OK," she said. "I'm really shocked that so many people (have) seen the video. My baby's a star."
Eiki told CBC that he had always planned to film the birth of his son.
"I wanted our baby to remember it. It's something for him to remember when he grows up," he said.
While many internet users thought the birth was "amazing" to watch, others said the event was too personal to share on social media.
Dome and Eiki said they are "laughing at the criticism."
"We just see it as a positive," Eiki said. "I know some people are mad that it's not private, but I'm from the island (of Tonga,) and years ago, we would have water births in public. I wasn't too worried about hiding anything because our culture has done this for thousands of years. That's what us islanders do -- we carry stories from elder to elder -- so my story will be passed on to him. My pain will become a blessing to him."
HeKelesi's name is Tongan and means "sweet aroma by grace."
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