New Year’s babies arrive
PORT CHARLOTTE — Daniel Lloyd Owen was supposed to be born on Dec. 27. Instead, the little blonde with a big wail made his appearance on New Year’s Day, just one day after his oldest brother and great-grandmother both celebrated their birthdays.
Weighing in at 7 pounds,
14.4 ounces and measuring
21 inches in length, Daniel was the first baby to be born in Charlotte County in 2013.
And according to Peace River Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Tammy Jones, by making his entrance into the world at 10:22 a.m., Daniel also is the first New Year’s baby ever to be born here before noon.
“He decided to hold out on us,” said his beaming mom Elizabeth Owen. “We actually scheduled an induction for this Thursday, and (my doctor) knew I was very much against doing that. I didn’t want to have to induce. I wanted to go natural.”
As it turns out, Elizabeth started going into labor in the late hours of New Year’s Eve, and by early Tuesday, her contractions were minutes apart. Daniel was ready to be born.
Elizabeth and her husband Timothy Owen arrived at the hospital early Tuesday morning, and about an hour and a half later, they welcomed their newest son.
“We kept holding off (from having to induce), and I was just incredibly thankful that we didn’t have to go that route,” Elizabeth said.
“We kept saying (he’ll be born on New Year’s Eve),” Timothy said.
Indeed, Daniel’s timing almost stole the spotlight from his oldest brother, Robert Marker, and his great-grandmother Edith Leddett, 87, both of whom celebrate birthdays on New Year’s Eve.
The Owen family had a party for Robert, who turned 17, at their house Monday night, and everyone thought Daniel might surprise them.
Instead the newborn claimed a day for himself.
As four generations of family members gathered in the hospital delivery room Tuesday afternoon, a nurse prepared to give the newborn his first vaccination. Elizabeth grabbed ahold of her 11-year-old daughter’s hand and closed her eyes as her baby boy let out a chilling wail that hung in the air like an angry cloud.
“Now I’m going to cry,” the new mom said. “I’ve never liked that part.”
Although Elizabeth and Timothy are not new to the business of parenting — between them they now have five children: Robert, Jeffrey and Felicia Marker; and Elijah and Daniel Owen — it had been 11 years since Elizabeth last gave birth.
“You remember the pain, but you don’t really remember it. And then you forget about it,” she said.
With that, Elizabeth looked down at Daniel, now peacefully swaddled in her arms. She wiped a tear from his tiny nose, and smiled.
Sarasota couple greet tiny girl
SARASOTA — Leigh Merritt-Dworken didn’t plan on having the New Year’s baby. In fact, she wasn’t due until March.
But on Sunday when her water broke, the doctors at Sarasota Memorial Hospital told her she would have to take it day by day, with potential bed rest until the spring.
The doctors didn’t have to wait long. Sarasota resident Merritt-Dworken delivered a little girl at 6:51 a.m., and a little boy one minute later at 6:52 a.m. Tuesday. The baby girl was 2 pounds, 11 ounces; and the boy was 2 pounds, 14 ounces. Both are breathing on their own in the neonatal unit.
“The babies had a different plan for all of us,” said the 34-year-old first-time mother, who originally didn’t know she was carrying twins. “We didn’t want to be in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), but we have had nothing but the best experience here. Doctors knew this was a high-risk pregnancy, and they have been pretty fantastic to us. The nurses are part of the antepartum-unit team, and they have helped me tremendously since I’ve been here.”
Merritt-Dworken’s husband Misha, 35 — whom she met in high school in Sarasota, and is a professional baseball coach — was with her in the delivery room during her cesarean section.
“He was a rock star,” Merritt-Dworken said of her husband’s support during the deliveries. “Twins run on my side of the family, as well as on my husband’s.”
Merritt-Dworken said because she didn’t carry the babies to term, which is 37 weeks for twins, they are expected to remain at the hospital until sometime in March.
“They are doing well, but it will be a long time until we can take the babies home,” she said. “I’ve seen just about every prenatal specialist at the hospital. They have been great. We are in very good hands.
Merritt-Dworken’s twins were the first born in what SMH expects will be about 3,000 delivered at the hospital this year.
“We’ve had one or two delivered at the SMH North Port ER,” said Kim Savage, spokeswoman for Sarasota Memorial. “We don’t encourage deliveries at the ER, but we understand some babies just can’t wait. (Like Peace River Regional in Charlotte), we are the only hospital in (Sarasota) County that delivers babies.”