November 16, 2018
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Portland hospital wins ‘competition’ for first Maine newborn of 2018

Courtesy of Maine Medical Center
Courtesy of Maine Medical Center
Identified only as Jason and Anya of Monmouth, the parents of the Maine's first baby born in 2018 hold their son, Jaxon, who was born at 3:30 a.m.

Maine’s first baby of the New Year came three hours and 30 minutes into 2018 with the delivery of a boy in Portland, hospital officials said Monday.

Named Jaxon, the baby was delivered by a Monmouth woman with her husband standing by at Maine Medical Center, hospital spokesman Matt Wickenheiser said.

Having the first baby of the new year is something of a competition to delivery-room personnel at Maine hospitals.

The mother and father declined to comment on the momentous occasion, but not due to any extra stress brought on by the birth, Wickenheiser said.

“Mom and dad are happy and baby is sleeping peacefully,” Wickenheiser said.

The first 2018 baby born in Bangor came at Eastern Maine Medical Center, where a 6-pound, 9-ounce boy arrived at 11:52 a.m.

Mother and son are recovering well, said Christine Rios, a registered nurse.

Hospitals usually telephone each other with the news, Rios said.

“If we think it’s us, we call everybody,” Rios said Monday. “Nurses like to compete with each other. Every year we compete. We know it has nothing to do with us, but we like to be competitive. It’s like, ‘yeah, my baby came before yours!’ It’s a friendly competition.”

The competition gets serious enough that workers at one hospital that Rios worked at, Boston’s Massachusetts General, actually persuaded a mother to hold off on giving birth in 2005, Rios said.

“They said, ‘If you can stop pushing, stop pushing. If you wait three minutes, you can have the New Years baby. She had a good epidural,” Rios said. “She said, OK, and she just held off for a couple of minutes and then she had the new year’s baby.”

Wickenheiser, who has two children, and Rios, who has five, said that healthy births never get old even to seasoned professionals. The couple lucky enough to have the first baby of the new year typically gets showered by gifts from hospital staff.

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