Moms, hospitals compete for first baby title

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

It is the competition of the year and for hospitals, and this year, Natchez Regional Medical Center won the race, but just barely.

Every year this unspoken competition ensues on which area hospital can deliver the first baby of the New Year. For 2004, Natchez Regional’s baby, Peyton Searcy Olive, arrived at 12:03 a.m. to parents Kelly and Scott Olive of Woodville, three and a half weeks early from his Jan. 25 due date.

&uot;I just have first of the month babies,&uot; Kelly said, referring to the 8-pound, 1-ounce Peyton and her almost 3-year-old son, Will, born March 1.

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And Kelly could not believe her good luck, having the first baby of the New Year without even trying.

&uot;I just can’t believe it; it’s a miracle to me,&uot; Kelly said. &uot;I just have bad luck. It just happened to be Š that I got him out for the New Year.&uot;

Peyton already has become a welcome addition as everyone dotes over him and his mom for being the first baby of the New Year, showering them with attention and gifts. And son Will picked flowers for her and brought them to her Thursday.

A stroller, car seat, diapers and a Winnie the Pooh wreath for the door are what just Natchez Regional gave the Olives, not to mention the gift card from Wal-Mart, the filled diaper bag from K-Mart, lunch from Comfort Suites and savings bonds from both Concordia Bank and Trust and Delta Bank.

&uot;All that pain was worth it,&uot; she said. &uot;Not only do you get a baby but you get all the attention.

&uot;This is the best New Years ever!&uot;

Kelly even said her nurse, Linda Helmes, was excited about this New Year’s baby because it was the first one in the Miss-Lou. Helmes, who is retiring this year, told Kelly, &uot;It was the best retirement present I could have gotten.&uot;

At Natchez Community Hospital, Chastity Snyder delivered Sariah Coleman just one minute later at 12:04 a.m. Thursday morning.

Snyder, who already had a 13-month-old baby boy, was due Saturday but the doctor induced labor late Wednesday night.

And Snyder knew it was heated competition.

&uot;I was trying to get her out,&uot; Snyder said.

Snyder and Sariah are not leaving the hospital empty handed with baskets full of pacifiers, blankets, spoons, a mobile and a ceramic piggy bank.

And the attention was no less for the first 2004 baby at Community as nurses walked by asking, &uot;where’s the New Year’s baby at?&uot;

With a room full of friends surrounding her, Snyder already had

her &uot;pretty&uot; daughter, Sariah,

dressed to a tee on her birthday.

Sariah and Peyton were not the only babies that will be eating black-eyed peas and cabbage, traditional foods of New Years, with their birthday cakes.

Across the river, at Riverland Medical Center, Ma’layziah Butler was the first baby born in Concordia Parish to Aquanetta Butler at 12:28 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Aquanetta, already the mother of two, said she was thankful for her 6-pound, 10-ounce bundle of joy.

&uot;She’s gonna be blessed for the rest of her life,&uot; Aquanetta said of Ma’layziah. The doctor wanted Aquanetta in early Wednesday but she came in around midnight with contractions.

Although her due date was Jan. 7, mom Glenese Butler and best friend Lora Gilmore were not surprised Ma’layziah was the first parish baby of the New Year.

&uot;I told her she was coming, three days before (on the 28th),&uot; Glenese said.

Now Ma’layziah will be welcomed home to a baby shower, said Gilmore, her godmother.

Aquanetta showed a huge grin when nurses brought Ma’layziah to her to hold, just hours after the birth.

And then came the goodies &045; a basket filled with outlet plugs, pacifiers, a baby monitor and bath lotions for the baby &045; bringing another smile to the mom’s face.

&uot;She had her on the right day,&uot; Gilmore said.

Her doctor, Ta Yu Huang, thought so too, having delivered the first baby of 2003 as well.

Obstetrician tech Mary Buford said Huang was calling all through the night to see if he would deliver the first 2004 baby.

But all he said afterward was, &uot;somebody had to do it.&uot;