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Baby's arrival proves dad knows best

January 01, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

RANSON, W.Va. -- Thomas Aronhalt sensed about four months ago that his wife would give birth to their child on New Year's Day.

No human intervention Wednesday meant to speed Chloe Madison Aronhalt's healthy entry into the world would change the new father's thinking, either.

"She wanted to have her before 12 o'clock last night," Aronhalt said Thursday while his mother, Betty Aronhalt, held her new grandchild at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson.

"Yeah, so we could file for taxes," added Amber Aronhalt, smiling. "But, oh well, New Year's Day is good, too. ... When she came out healthy, I didn't really care."

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The child was born at 1:20 a.m., exactly six hours before the first birth at City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., and earlier in the new year than births reported in Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Clarksburg and Elkins, W.Va., according to media accounts and hospital officials.

Amber Aronhalt said Chloe, who was due Jan. 8, weighed 7 pounds, 10.6 ounces, and was 20 inches long.

"Everybody was pushing for New Year's Day. I seriously thought I was going to have her on New Year's Eve, but she wants her fame," Amber Aronhalt said with a laugh.

Amber Aronhalt's physician, Dr. T.A. Nathan, had scheduled the Martinsburg woman to have a Caesarean section at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday because the baby was breech, meaning she was positioned to be born feet first.

When Amber Aronhalt arrived at the hospital, the baby had turned, so her labor was artificially induced.

Yet, from 3 p.m. to midnight, her cervix did not dilate enough for natural delivery, prompting the need for an emergency C-section, she said.

"It was scary at first because it was my first surgery," Amber Aronhalt said.

Her first two children, Breanna, 4, and Dalton, 3, were born naturally, also under Nathan's care.

"I really like him and have faith in him," Amber Aronhalt said.

Trusting her doctor and in a lot of pain, Aronhalt said she resolved "to get it done and over with."

"It's not that bad. I would do it again if I had to," said Amber Aronhalt, who added that she does not plan to have anymore children.

"I'm ready to get my career on the road," said Amber Aronhalt, who plans to go back to school to study radiology.

Aronhalt's husband said they settled on the name Chloe after looking through a book before she was born.

"If it would have been a boy, it would have been Jacob Nathaniel," Thomas Aronhalt said. "A guy always wants a boy. It didn't matter to me. She's healthy, she's got all her fingers and toes."

For being the first baby born in 2009 at Jefferson Memorial, the Bank of Charles Town is donating a $100 savings bond for the baby, according to Teresa E. McCabe, vice president of marketing and development for West Virginia University Hospitals-East.

Kristina Brundzo of Falling Waters, W.Va., who gave birth first in 2009 at City Hospital, will receive a $100 savings bond from BB&T.

After the arrival of Brundzo's 7-pound, 8-ounce girl, Bailey Weller, at 7:20 a.m., City Hospital staff nurse Dawn Kipps said Thursday that she expected three other mothers to give birth Thursday.

"We are unbelievably busy," Kipps said. "I've been up here for almost 15 years and I've never seen New Year's quite like this."

Both Aronhalt and Brundzo said they expected to be able to leave the hospital Saturday.

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