Celebrating their November 24th birthdays together are Ryan Mashburn and Samantha Merrill with baby girl Piper, Gordon and Brooke Allen with baby girl Charlie Kate, OB Director Dawn Merkle, RN, and Andrew LaMarr with son Layten Victor (mom Kristen Fredericks not pictured).
Much like the winter storms that occurred nine months prior to the November 24th opening day of the new OB suites at Gibson Area Hospital, there was a flurry of excitement in anticipation of what would transpire during the coming hours. When all had settled, what precipitated was measured in pounds and ounces of three new babies and the size of the satisfied smiles on those who, in the comfort of their pristine lux setting, unwaveringly weathered the force of Mother Nature that day.
The births were ushered in during a momentous occasion for the Gibson OB department, having waited patiently to move into the state-of-the-art unit for several months. Brooke and Gordon Allen, hailing from Hoopeston, sought the patient friendly atmosphere and service of Gibson Area Hospital and the convenient, local care of Dr. Laura Smith, who practices from the Family Health Care of Hoopeston in their home town. The couple, who began the laboring process in the old unit, was happy to be part of the department’s move on the day they would become new parents. That afternoon, they welcomed baby girl Charlie Kate, first to be born in the DeWall Maternity Unit, after much of the relocation whirlwind taking place outside of their serene suite had ended.
The Allens were not alone in this bustle of OB activity. Kristen Fredericks and Andrew LaMarr of Piper City also found their way to Gibson’s OB through a family referral to Dr. Kate Austman at Prairie Family Medicine & Obstetricsin Forrest. Thrilled to be among the inaugural births, the couple enjoyed the thoughtful amenities of their suite, including the Jacuzzi-like laboring tub. Their son, Layten Victor, was the second born that day, and joins a 2 1/2 year old sibling at home.
The honors for the third baby born were bestowed on Samantha Merrill and Ryan Mashburn of Fairbury. The couple sought local doctor Dr. Rachel Wenger, even more comfortable with a name and face familiar to their family. Baby Piper is their second child and will be welcomed by a 3 year old sibling.
As this day will be remembered for many years and become part of Gibson’s history, recognition must be given to the last baby born in the old unit. Baby boy Beau Fields was delivered by Dr. Austman to Gibson Area Hospital employee Rikee Fields and husband Casey. Residents of Gibson City, they are not disappointed in their experience in the old unit because they were among friends and fellow co-workers who made bringing Beau into the world a special occasion. Good-natured about her “last baby” title, Rikee commented, “We were excited at the potential to be the first birth in the new unit. But in the end, Gibson’s OB is so remarkable it didn’t matter—it was still a great experience. It is exciting to be part of history at this hospital that’s growing and doing big things.”
The Fields Family and the Allen Family were celebrated as parents of the “Last and First” babies. They received gift baskets and Target gift cards worth the amount of a year’s supply of diapers. Parents of Layten and Piper received Target gift cards as well to honor their role in the bustle of this thrilling day that brought three bundles of joy to Gibson Area Hospital’s new, beautiful OB unit.
To view more pictures of the baby boom visit our photo album on facebook.