For Sioux Falls couple Danielle Norby and Matt McCarthy, their ultimate Christmas gift couldn't be found wrapped up under the Christmas tree. Rather, their gift was McCarthy getting to meet his month-and-a-half old daughter, Harper for the first time.
"Words can't even describe it, it's just great. He's going to love her and I'm so excited for him to meet her," Norby said.
McCarthy was sent to basic training camp in Mississippi in August. Norby was seven months pregnant at the time.
"I bawled," Norby said. "I was obviously pregnant and a little hormonal, I mean, it was tough just being a first baby and not knowing what to expect."
For McCarthy, the anticipation of not knowing when exactly his daughter was going to be born was extremely tough.
"Anticipation was extremely high with this, not being able to be in contact all the time because I did have stuff that I had to do, it really did kind of weighs on you wondering what was going on back home," McCarthy said.
When it was time for Harper to make her debut into the world, Norby asked for an induction so that even though McCarthy couldn't physically be in the room with her, through today's technology, he still got to witness the whole birth of his first born.
"He was there the whole time, so I wasn't worried about him missing anything, he skyped from about 4 p.m. that day to about 4 a.m. that morning and then got up and went to class," Norby said.
"It was surreal, I suppose you could say, it was definitely a different experience, you don't know what it's like until it actually happens," McCarthy said.
Although McCarthy will only get to be home for a few short days, he plans on cherishing every moment.
"I'm just really excited to be able to go home and spend the next couple of days with them, great new edition that I'm really going to enjoy getting to know," McCarthy said.
As for Norby, she plans to take full advantage of the 12 days.
"Give him a little taste of parenthood," Norby said.