Raucous cheers and the pop of Champagne corks could still be heard on Main Avenue when, just minutes into the New Year, Farmington residents Tina and Joseph Hodgman celebrated the birth of their second son.
At 12:20 a.m. and a full day before he was due, Nathan Thomas Hodgman became the first baby to be born at Mercy Regional Medical Center in 2011. And after two nights of contractions, the moment couldnt have come soon enough for Nathans mother, Tina.
Our oldest son kept saying hed be born on Christmas, a proud and exhausted Tina Hodgman said Saturday morning. I was kind of hoping for a New Years baby.
Hodgmans contractions began late Thursday night, and the couple made the hourlong trip from Farmington to Mercy on Friday morning. When the baby didnt come, they checked into a hotel.
About 10 p.m. Friday, Hodgmans contractions had intensified, and the couple returned to the hospital. Two hours 20 minutes and one cesarean section later, Dr. Richard Grossman delivered a crying Nathan to his tired and relieved parents.
Dr. Grossman was excellent, Hodgman said. Hes really, really good, and, I dont know, give that guy a raise or something.
The couples first child, 5-year-old Adam, was born in Lubbock, Texas, and also delivered by cesarean section. Adam spent New Years Eve in Farmington with his grandparents, awaiting news of his younger brother.
Yeah, hes pretty excited, Tina Hodgman said. Except hes not going to change diapers, hes already said.
Less than half a day into his life, Nathans parents already had dreams for him.
Were thinking hell be our little athlete. Hes got the long legs, and hes taller (than Adam), Tina Hodgman said. (Adams) just great on a computer and smart as can be. ... I think theyll be really good together.
The mood in the hospital room was relaxed Saturday morning as Nathan slept in his mothers arms, sunlight streaming in through the window.
David Bruzzese, public relations officer for the hospital, stopped by to congratulate the couple and present them with the customary basket of gifts given each year to the first baby born.
Put together by the nurses of the Family Birth Center, the basket contained newborn necessities such as socks, a hat, blanket, diapers, wipes and a handprint impression kit.
Youre experienced parents; you probably have a lot of this stuff already, Bruzzese said.
Environmental Services employee Frances Dance stopped by just long enough to present Tina Hodgman with a paper crane she had folded. For the last year, Dance said she has given a crane to every new mother and estimates she gave away about a thousand cranes in 2010.
I just love to give them to the moms because it makes their faces brighten up, Dance said.
In all, Mercy delivered 1,018 babies in 2010, just one more than in 2009.