First New Year’s baby is highly anticipated eventWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day always generate an extra buzz of anticipation on local labor and delivery floors as patients, hospital staff and media alike wait to see which family and which hospital will deliver the first baby of the new year.
“We hope every year we have the first baby,” said Gloria Mayne, a registered nurse who’s worked in ProMedica Toledo Hospital’s nursery for 43 years. Her shift starts at 7 a.m. “The first thing we say [when we walk in] is, ‘Did we have the first baby?’ and they are like, ‘Yeah!’ or ‘Not this year.’ It’s a fun little competition.”
Other holidays, like Christmas, are special too, but nothing compares with the excitement of New Year’s, agreed Beth Garzony, a registered nurse who has worked with Mayne at Toledo Hospital for 26 years.
“We always like to get the title of first baby,” she said. “It’s a new beginning. New Year’s is just exciting. It’s just fun to be here.”
The buzz might be higher than normal on New Year’s, but procedures are the same as any other day, said Dr. Kent Bishop, an OB/GYN and medical director for ProMedica Toledo Hospital Women’s Services.
“It’s pretty much business as usual,” Bishop said. “But there’s a certain amount of excitement to deliver that first baby of the year or even if it’s just the first baby of our institution.”
The excitement means many staff members volunteer for New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day shifts.
“That’s not usually a day that we struggle to get coverage,” Bishop said.
First in state
At least twice in recent years, Lucas County’s first baby was also the first born in the state, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Andre Clark, born to Tonya Clark of Toledo at midnight at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, was Ohio’s first baby of 2007, beating 14 other Lucas County babies born Jan. 1 for the local title and making him the first of nearly 150,000 babies born in the state that year. JaNiyla Fields, born to Shaniece Fields of Toledo at 12:01 a.m. at Toledo Hospital, tied for first in the state in 2011.
A set of quadruplets born at Toledo Hospital in 2010 are among the most memorable first births among hospital staff, said Tracy Buder, a registered nurse and clinical director of ProMedica Toledo Hospital’s labor and delivery unit.
“The quads stick out in my mind,” Buder said. “I remember it being very exciting and that everyone thought it was pretty neat to have the first baby of the new year be quads. I believe there was a patient who was upset, that thought it was purposeful, but it absolutely was not. She had to be delivered for a necessity.”
Regardless of a family’s desire to have the first baby of the year, there is a strict set of criteria that must be met when deciding whether or when to induce labor, stressed Dr. Michael Hnat, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Toledo Hospital.
“There has to be a medical indication, not just because it’s the end of the year,” Hnat said.
“We don’t just induce people haphazardly,” Bishop added. “There are some pretty stringent criteria.”
A typical delivery includes a care provider — a physician or midwife — along with two nurses to assist, Bishop said.
“That would be the minimum for a low-risk, straightforward birth,” he said. “That number can be jacked up to about three times that in about 30 seconds if needed, so it has the ability to ramp up quickly.”
Bishop said there was once a set of twins at Toledo Hospital who were born in two different years — one on Dec. 31 and one on Jan. 1.
“They had different birthdays and different years. That was really cool,” Bishop said. “It’s been a few years, so it’s turning into folklore now, but it definitely happened.”
Toledo Hospital is home to the region’s busiest labor and delivery unit. The first baby of the new year has been born there five out of the past six years. The hospital delivered nearly half — more than 3,800 — of the county’s nearly 8,000 babies born in 2012 and is on track for similar numbers this year, Bishop said.
“It would make sense that we have a good chance to get [2014’s first birth] just because of the number of deliveries being done,” Bishop said.
Katelyn Shaner of Bowling Green was the first baby of the new year in 1990. She was born at 12:01 a.m. at Toledo Hospital.
“My parents would tell me about it all the time how the doctors said my mom could decide what year I was born in and how they watched the ball drop just as she had me,” Shaner wrote in an email. “I have the newspaper clippings in my baby book and it’s a running joke about how I was impatient to make my entrance and spoiled my older brother’s plans for the night.”
In Lucas County, there were 12 babies born Jan. 1, 2013, 17 born that day in 2012, 21 in 2011, 27 in 2010, nine in 2009 and 14 in 2008, according to the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.
Buder and Bishop said they have each delivered the first baby of the new year once.
“That was very exciting. It was cool to do that,” Buder said. “We didn’t really think we were going to be the first baby of the new year, but we ended up being so it was very cool. We always want to have the New Year’s baby.”
New Year’s Day isn’t the only coveted birth date, Bishop said. Some parents have personal reasons for hoping for a certain date, whether for family significance or because of a unique numerical sequence, such as 10/11/12, Bishop said.
Despite the extra attention heaped on the first baby each year, Hnat said every birth is special.
“Giving birth and having children here or anywhere is a magical time. It’s a birthday and it is a magical time for everybody,” Hnat said. “It’s business as usual on New Year’s Eve. It just happens to be a special time and it’s always a special time. We go on and take care of the patient and their needs, but we don’t really provide the magic to it. That’s their part.”
Lucas County’s first babies 1990-2013
- 2013: Eli John (Parents: Britney Spoldt and Dan Poulin of Toledo), ProMedica Flower Hospital, 1:28 a.m.
- 2012: Axella (Parents: Amanda O’Leary and Nick Bueter of Toledo), ProMedica Toledo Hospital, 12:32 a.m.
- 2011: JaNiyla Marie (Parents: Shaniece Fields of Toledo), Toledo Hospital, 12:01 a.m.
- 2010: James Houston (Parents: Nick Lake and Lauren Hablitzel-Lake of McClure), Toledo Hospital, 12:17 a.m. Followed by siblings Isaiah Parker at 12:18 a.m., Michaela Ann at 12:19 a.m. and Dakota Perry at 12:20 a.m.
- 2009: Ryleigh Addison (Parents: Dawanna Hintz and Adam Owens), Toledo Hospital, 4:37 a.m.
- 2008: Jewel (Parents: Donna and Tim Aldrich of Genoa), Toledo Hospital, 12:16 a.m.
- 2007: Andre (Parents: Tonya Clark of Toledo), Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, midnight.
- 2006: Romeo (Parents: Karen and Jimmie Jordan of Sylvania), Mercy St. Anne Hospital, 12:58 a.m.
- 2005: Joshua (Parents: Steven and Laurel Bruhl of Maumee), St. Anne Hospital, 6:18 a.m.
- 2004: Caden Keith (Parents: Samantha Wilber and Jeff Feller), Mercy St. Charles Hospital, 3:51 a.m.
- 2003: Christopher David (Parents: David and Susan Oleksiak of Oregon), Flower Hospital, 4:05 a.m.
- 2002: Eric Thomas (Parents: Jim and Kelly Joldrichsen of Oregon), Flower Hospital, 12:05 a.m.
- 2001: Tavion (Parents: Tiffani Williams of Toledo), St. Vincent Medical Center, 4:09 a.m.
- 2000: Nathanial Myles (Parents: Leslie Graves and Maynard Belcher Jr. of Toledo), Toledo Hospital, 12:07 a.m.
- 1999: Kersten Elise (Parents: Wendy Lewis and Roger Sallows), St. Luke’s Hospital, 12:01 a.m.
- 1998: Cordell Jarrod “C.J.” (Parents: Jerry and Karin Austin of Perrysburg), St. Luke’s Hospital, midnight.
- 1997: Janell Renea (Parents: Lisa Williams and Joel Wright of Toledo), Riverside Hospital, midnight.
- 1996: Allen Michael (Parents: Tracy Wolfenbarger), Toledo Hospital, 12:03 a.m.
- 1995: Not reported.
- 1994: Jacob (Parents: Jennifer Avalos), Mercy Hospital, 12:50 a.m.
- 1993: Philip Thomas (Parents: Jacquelyn Scanlon and Thomas Baron of Toledo), Flower Hospital, 12:01 a.m.
- 1992: Derek Kristopher (Parents: Darin and Misty Householder), St. Vincent Medical Center, 12:03 a.m.
- 1991: Carol (Parents: Carol Long of Toledo), Riverside Hospital, 12:30 a.m.
- 1990: Katelyn Elizabeth (Parents: Larry and Nancy Shaner of Bowling Green), Toledo Hospital, 12:01 a.m.
— Source: Media reports
Tags: Beth Garzony registered nurse, Bowling Green, Christmas, Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, New Year's Day, New Year's Eve, Ohio Department of Health, ProMedica Toledo Hospital, ProMedica Toledo Hospital Women’s Services, quadruplets