WATERVILLE, Maine — When baby Finnegan popped his head out at 12:33 a.m. on Jan. 1, he was welcomed into the world as the state’s first New Year’s Day baby.
It’s not official, but hospital staff at Waterville’s Inland Hospital are pretty sure they have the first baby of 2013 after calling other hospitals throughout the state.
“They [Inland Hospital staff] called our night nurse last night and said, ‘We have one at 12:33 a.m. Can you beat us?’” a nursing supervisor at the Rumford Hospital said Tuesday afternoon.
Finnegan was born to Waterville residents Hannah Skoczenski, 26, a hairdresser at Remedy Hair Salon in Waterville, and her fiance, Chris Duffy, 26, who works at Bolduc Technologies Group in Augusta.
“He’s absolutely perfect. We’ve overjoyed,” Duffy said as grandparents and aunts filled the hospital room Tuesday.
“She’s doing unbelievable,” he said of his wife-to-be. “She looks perfect. Her hair looks great. Her makeup looks great. She doesn’t look like she had a baby.”
Nine minutes after Finnegan entered the world, a girl was born at Maine Medical Center in Portland, and one minute later, a boy was born at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, based on an informal survey of Vacationland hospitals.
Wyatt Paul Benn arrived at 12:42 a.m. and came into the world a few days late, said his mother Erika Veinote of Hampden. Wyatt’s dad, Marshall Benn of Houlton, was sitting nearby.
“My due date was the 21st, so I was 10 days overdue,” Veinote said. “We thought it was going to be a Christmas baby, and we ended up with a New Year’s baby.”
“I kept saying he’ll be here when he’s ready to be here,” said new “Grammy” Lynne Veinote of Hampden, with her husband, “Papa” David Veinote, sitting in a chair next to her.
Because Veinote had a fever the day of her son’s birth, he also had a fever when he arrived and was taken to EMMC’s neonatal intensive care unit for observation, the new mother said.
EMMC’s second New Year’s Day baby was born at 2:54 a.m. to Ellsworth residents Jessica MacDonald and Joseph Lane. His name is Jarrek, which is Slavic for “January,” his mom said.
Lane sat in a chair holding his 12-hour-old son, cooing and making small talk with the infant as the mother of his second child was given a break and able to eat lunch.
“He has a lot of hair,” Lane said while holding his son.
“I had a lot of heartburn,” was MacDonald’s comeback.
The conversation, with him finishing her sentences or her finishing his sentences, is almost comical between the couple, who have been together for two years. Both have children from prior relationships, who were in their grandparents’ car en route to the hospital at noontime.
“We have his and hers and one shared,” MacDonald said.
“I have a girl and she has a boy and now we have another boy,” Lane said, of Amelia, 7, and Aidan, 5.
When asked what he hoped his son would be when he grows up, Lane had a simple answer.
“Happy. Because that is the best thing you can hope for.”
Other New Year’s Day babies were born, as of noontime, at Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, Penobscot Valley Hospital in Lincoln, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston and Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway. Messages left at three other Maine hospitals that have maternity wards were not immediately returned.
Little Finnegan is the state’s first because he decided to come a little earlier than expected, said his dad.
“We weren’t actually due until Saturday the 5th,” Duffy said. “We actually came to the hospital on Sunday ,and she wasn’t ready and just yesterday at like 2 o’clock she started feeling like she was going into labor. We waited until like 6 p.m. and went over, and they said she was ready to go.”
Even so, it took “for … ev… er” for the couple’s first-born to arrive, said Duffy. He said his fiancee is a trouper.
“I want him to be a Marine like his dad, and other than that be a good person,” said Duffy, who served in the U.S. Marines for four years.
The state’s first baby for 2013 had quite a few visitors on the first day of his life.
“My parents, her parents, my siblings and we’ve probably had 20 friends and family come by, and another 20 or 30 are on their way over,” Duffy said early Tuesday afternoon. “Pretty much the whole town.”