The miracle of ... Facebook Live? Dad streams child's birth from delivery room

That graphic PBS birth video you watched in high school science class got a reboot for the 21st century this morning, as a California dad live streamed the birth of his baby boy on Facebook for the world to see.

'I was OK, I was just focused on pushing ... it is a beautiful thing, nothing to be ashamed of,' mom says

A California dad live streamed the birth of his baby boy on Facebook for the world to see on Monday. The mom wasn't aware of it at the time, but said later, 'It didn't show too much, so I'm OK.' (Fakamalo Kihe Eiki/Facebook)

That graphic PBS birth video you watched in high school science class got a reboot for the 21st century Monday morning, as a Sacramento, Calif., dad live streamed the birth of his baby boy on Facebook for the world to see. 

Kali Kanongata'a, the baby's father, filmed for 45 minutes inside the delivery room at the Mercy San Juan Medical Center — narrating his partner Sarah Dome's contractions and pushes with his own colour commentary.

"Come on, pop out son! What are you doing in there?" says Kanongata'a at one point during the video. When more hospital staffers start helping out as the actual birth nears, he says, "Uh-oh! Getting real."

Nurses and doctors can also be heard throughout the video, telling Dome to relax, push and take deep breaths. "We see him now," a staffer says.

The father filmed for 45 minutes — narrating his partner's contractions and her pushes with his own colour commentary. (Fakamalo Kihe Eiki/Facebook)

Dome knew that Kanongata'a was filming the birth, but she didn't know that he was streaming it live; she told CBC News that she was quite surprised to find that out later in the day. Speaking from the hospital Monday evening, she said it is "pretty cool" and doesn't want it to be taken down.

"I was OK, I was just focused on pushing ... 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 seen the video … my baby's a star." As of Monday night, the video has been viewed more than 25,000 times.

Streaming for the baby

Kanongata'a said he had been planning on streaming the birth for a while. "I wanted our baby to remember it … it's something for him to remember when he grows up." He had live streamed many different aspects of the waiting process since the couple were admitted to the hospital.

Kanongata'a said he had wanted to have a natural birth and help his partner deliver the baby, and that part of the reason he recorded the delivery was to show her they could have done it at home.

"There is nothing to hide about having a kid, it's a blessing and just to share it with people, I think it's just an amazing thing."

The video itself peaks around 37 minutes when their baby boy is born. The couple gave him a Tongan name — Ngangatulelei HeKelesi. Kanongata'a said that roughly translates to "sweet aroma by grace."

The baby wailed for the first few minutes of his life until Dome calmed him down. Staff from the hospital can be seen placing a yellow toque on the baby's head.

The baby, named Ngangatulelei HeKelesi, wailed for the first few minutes of his life until his mother calmed him down a few moments before the stream ended. (Fakamalo Kihe Eiki/Facebook)

The stream comes to an end after the couple discuss where the baby got its hair. He was born with a full head of hair and even a bit of hair on his back.

Birth in the age of social media

CBC News reached out to the medical centre, where a spokeswoman said she wasn't aware of the video. The centre could not be reached again for further comment.

It's not the first time a birth has played out in real time on social media.

Many have live tweeted every step of their labour process, including a Twitter staffer. Last year, Samsung live streamed a birth using virtual reality for an Australian father who was out of town while his son was being born.

A spokeswoman for Facebook could not confirm whether the childbirth was a first for Facebook Live. 

Many had a lot to say as the private moment turned incredibly public played out online.


Haydn Watters is a roving reporter in Ontario, mostly serving the province's local CBC Radio shows. He has worked for the CBC in Halifax, Yellowknife, Ottawa and Toronto, with stints at the politics bureau and entertainment unit. He ran an experimental one-person pop-up bureau for the CBC in Barrie, Ont. You can get in touch at


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