St. Mary’s nurses anticipate first baby of 2011

The push to be the first Mesa County baby of 2011 is here — pun intended.

All was quiet on the sixth floor of St. Mary’s Hospital on Thursday, but the labor and delivery nurses who walked the halls were very aware that the New Year’s baby soon will arrive.

By late afternoon today, the nurses of the labor and delivery department at St. Mary’s will be abuzz in anticipation about who the New Year’s baby will be and what she or he will be like.

“I think it’s fun around this time of year,” said Julie Shayne, a registered nurse in the department for the past 10 years.

The amount of time an expectant mother is in labor varies from person to person, Shayne said.

However, the nurses know that any woman in labor by 6 p.m. or so today could potentially be carrying the New Year’s baby.

And just as the labor and delivery nurses typically coach and cheer all mothers on during delivery, the nurses’ cheers tend to get a little more boisterous as the clock approaches midnight.

“It’s a little competition,” Shayne said with a laugh.

In all seriousness, she added, the nurses hope every delivery is safe for mother and baby, but there is an added thrill to be the lone nurse assigned to the New Year’s mother and baby.

This year, there were no scheduled cesarean sections or inductions as of Thursday morning, Shayne said. In other words, there is some mystery as to who the New Year’s baby will be in 2011.

Labor and delivery nurses pulled together in what Shayne called “a group effort” to put together a welcome basket of baby clothes and supplies for the New Year’s baby at St. Mary’s. This year, the nurses are hoping to give away more than one basket.

Last year, seven babies were born on New Year’s Day — six boys and one girl. The little girl was the New Year’s baby, born at 4:44 a.m.

Whether the New Year’s baby is a boy or girl, from Mesa County or somewhere else, the nurses and doctors pay attention to the clock to let the mother, father or any extended family waiting patiently outside, know that they have the New Year’s baby.

“You get this whole announcement to the community,” Shayne said.


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