PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — One hundred years ago, a Presque Isle hospital was founded to free people from sickness and to help families safely usher in and celebrate new lives.
So officials at The Aroostook Medical Center found it especially poignant that its 100th baby this year, as the hospital marks its centennial, was born on Independence Day.
Aiva Mae Richardson, TAMC’s “Centennial Baby,” was born at 10:14 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4. Her parents, Lisa Plourde and Adam Richardson, live in Caribou. Hospital staff had anticipated and planned for the 100th baby since the beginning of TAMC’s centennial year, but it was pure coincidence that it happened on the day set aside to celebrate the birth of the nation.
Aiva Mae was delivered by Mary Hamilton, TAMC certified nurse midwife, and Dr. Joyce Hebert. The baby weighed in at seven pounds, 11 ounces and measured 20¼ inches long.
The parents had no idea their baby would make local history until they arrived at the hospital.
“We didn’t know about it until we came in for the delivery,” said Plourde. “Once we arrived the staff was quite excited that it looked like the 100th baby born in TAMC’s 100th year was about to arrive.”
Richardson, a native of Saint John, New Brunswick, said he had thought the baby might be born on July 1, which was Canada Day. Plourde’s due date was July 2, but she was pulling for Independence Day.
“We were happy with either Canada Day or the Fourth of July,” said Plourde. “She’s just the most beautiful person I have ever laid eyes on. She is just precious.”
This is the first child for the couple, and Richardson said he had been looking forward to the baby’s birth for some time.
“I turned 40 this year and always wanted to have a family,” he said. “I have younger siblings, so taking care of children is something I have experience with.”
In honor of the 100th baby, staff of the hospital’s OB-GYN and Midwifery Services presented the family with a gift basket including numerous items members of the team had made themselves.
“We are just so excited,” said Vickie Belanger, manager of OB-GYN and Midwifery Services. “Our staff came together to create a great gift basket. The team members gave of their time and wonderful talent to create just the perfect gift for this special baby. All of us are just beaming at the birth of our 100th baby in this significant year. The fact that she was born on the Fourth of July is just icing on the cake.”
The hospital has held several events this year to mark its birthday and more will be held throughout the remainder of 2012.