The birth of Brian Lande's first son is bittersweet as his wife Melissa Carleton remains in a coma and can't share in the joy with him.
"As happy as I am to meet my son, it is incredibly painful for Melissa not to be awake with me for this," says Lande, a Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy.
Lande named the newborn, who doctors delivered Thursday by c-section, West Nathaniel Lande, television station KTVU reports. The infant is healthy and weighs 5 lbs., 9 oz.
At first, the new dad shared, he wasn't sure if the baby or his wife, a family therapist, would survive.
Carleton first began having headaches not long after the couple wed. Doctors diagnosed her with a benign brain tumor that continued to grow larger, and she underwent surgery in March to release pressure on her brain. She suffered a seizure after and has been in a coma since.
"Having to worry that we really weren't to get either, to at least know that I've got one of them now" is comforting, he says.
Carleton's injury is located in the brain area that covers wakefulness. Doctors speculate that she may be at least partially conscious – she moved Lande's hand to her pregnant tummy when the baby kicked before being born.
And there was also another sweet and encouraging sign for the new father. "She puckered for a kiss," Lande says. "These are the things we've waited for for months to happen and she did them today."