Stories written by Jo Ciavaglia, award-winning multimedia newspaper reporter at the Bucks County Courier Times in Bucks County, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pa.
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Thursday, January 28, 2016
Bucks' first baby of 2016 arrived almost on time
Posted: Friday, January 1, 2016
Already, her parents can see that Camilla Benzie is one determined child.
The newborn has even claimed her first title: First Baby Born in Bucks County 2016.
The race was a close one. Only 15 minutes — and 15 miles — separated the arrivals of Bucks County's first and second baby of the new year.
But parents Julie and Matt Benzie say their first child showed her steel will before she was born.
Camilla Benzie and her parents
Julie’s due date was the last day of 2015, but Camilla had been in the legs-first breech position for 39 weeks. Doctors didn’t want to wait, so a cesarean section was scheduled on Dec. 28.
Three day after Christmas, the couple arrived at Doylestown Hospital, the same hospital where Julie was born 34 years ago. The medical staff prepped the operating room. Matt slipped into his scrubs, ready to go.
Then an ultrasound revealed that Camilla turned herself into the head-first position.
“So, we went home,” Julie said.
On Thursday night, the couple planned to spend New Year’s Eve at a neighbor’s house. Around 6 p.m. Julie was running behind, so she told her husband to head over without her.
Soon, she was calling him to come home. Her water broke. Twelve hours later — at 8:47 a.m. — her husband delivered the news: They had a 6-pound, 2-ounce healthy daughter.
“She is perfect,” Julie said.
As is her birthday, according to her parents.
“It kind of suits her because she has definitely had her own agenda. We kind of think she is headed for greatness,” Julie said. “She knew she was going to be the first baby born in Doylestown. She wanted to hold out.”
Meanwhile, at nearby Grand View Hospital, Lauren Huckett also was in the last stages of labor.
She and her husband Paul, who live in Perkasie and were also expecting their first child, had arrived at the hospital around 7 p.m. Thursday. While Lauren’s due date wasn’t until Jan. 3, her doctor decided to induce labor.
Son Jack Patrick arrived via C-section at 9:02 a.m., weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces.
While he was not the first baby, his parents can say he is the first Bucks County baby boy of 2016.
Not that his birth date matters to them. They just wanted a healthy child.
“We were absolutely excited,” Lauren said.
St. Mary Medical Center's first baby of the new year arrived at 7:08 p.m. Friday. Bensalem resident Oluwbukola Akla delivered her first child, a 5-pound, 3-ounce girl named Faizah Bello, according to hospital spokeswoman Kate Smith.
In eastern Montgomery County, Holy Redeemer Hospital delivered its first baby of the year at 7:14 a.m. The baby girl, whose name was not released, was the first of six babies — three boys and three girls — delivered Friday, spokeswoman Mary Anna Rodabaugh said.
Jesiah Sealy and dad
Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health delivered four New Year’s Day babies before noon on Friday, and two more women were in labor early Friday afternoon, according to hospital spokeswoman Linda Millevoi.
The hospital’s first baby of 2016 arrived at 12:35 a.m. to a Huntington Valley couple, the second at 1:55 a.m. to a Yardley couple and the third at 2:04 a.m. to a Philadelphia couple, Millevoi said.
Jesiah Isaac Sealy wasn’t due on New Year’s Day, let alone anytime in January.
The first child of Regina and Cyrus Sealy arrived Friday, six weeks before his scheduled due date and one day later than doctors anticipated, becoming Abington Hospital's first baby of the new year.
Regina Sealy had been hospitalized since Dec. 30 when her blood pressure dangerously spiked during an pregnancy appointment, Cyrus Sealy said. The doctors admitted her to monitor her, and decided to induce her labor on New Year’s Eve day.
But the birthing ward at the hospital got busy. Regina was stable, so Cyrus went to work. He returned to the hospital New Year’s Eve.
As they watched the ball drop at New York City’s Times Square on the hospital room TV, Regina suddenly felt pressure in her lower abdomen, her husband said.
They called a nurse who found Regina was fully dilated.
“OK, let’s get it going,” Cyrus Sealy said he responded.
Five good pushes later, Jesiah arrived.
The 4-pound boy will remain in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a week. But Cyrus Sealy said his son is doing better than expected, and nurses think he may be released sooner. Regina is on 24-hour bedrest but also doing well, he said.
“It’s amazing. It’s simply amazing. It was something that was totally unexpected. I’m blessed,” he said. “The best New Year’s Day.”
Jo Ciavaglia: 215-949-4181; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @JoCiavaglia