FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --It was bittersweet experience for her family. Despite the circumstances, it was a very memorable day. The baby has been lying on his Melissa's bare chest and sleeping this afternoon. Dad said he will be in charge of changing diapers and helping with feedings. The hospital has set up a room for dad and baby to be near Melissa for the next few days.
At 10:56 Thursday morning, during a standard C-section, a baby was born to a woman who was not able to fully experience the joy of becoming a mother. Despite this, she gave birth in the intensive care unit to little West Nathaniel Lande. He weighs five pounds and nine ounces. The doting dad says he tried to make the birth extra special, even though Melissa is in a coma and was also sedated.
"He went right to Melissa's chest and was able to lay on her chest. She was obviously still under anesthesia. But he got to smell her first and feel her first, and then he came to me," said Brian Lande, Melissa's husband.
The baby is the first grandchild to John and Lawanna Farrell. And grandpa could not be happier to have the baby born healthy and carried to full term. "He held my little finger for a while and that was wonderful."
Almost as amazing as the birth were the moments before the delivery. Brian said when he arrived at the hospital on Thursday, he experienced the most heartfelt moments with Melissa since she slipped away. "This morning, she was able to open up her eyes and hold my hand and move my hand to her belly where the baby was kicking. And she was able to reach up and touch my face. She puckered for a kiss."
The baby's name was picked out late last year. Both parents. They combined their top picks to create a first and middle name. "Once we found out about Melissa's tumor, we worried that we might now get another chance at having a child, and so we decided to use both of our favorite first names, with West."
Grandpa said the baby is just perfect. "He is a beautiful boy. and we have a lot of anticipation for him. His parents are marvelous people. We expect that he will be an extension of his beautiful and precious mother."
Melissa's family is trying to fulfill all of her wishes for this day. She wanted to breast feed her son, so Brian made that happen and he said it worked fine. As of Thursday afternoon, Brian had not changed his first dirty diaper, but he said he is ready for it.
Melissa Carleton had a seizure in March, while awaiting surgery to remove a brain tumor the size of her fist. That seizure left her unable to fully wake up.
Click here for more on the story by Sydney Lupkin via Good Morning America