First baby of new year arrives at The Memorial Hospital in Craig |

First baby of new year arrives at The Memorial Hospital in Craig

Ben McCanna
Tiffany Schmedeke tends to her newborn son, Jacob Dallas Schmedeke, on Thursday. Jacob was born at 4:09 p.m. Wednesday, the first baby born at TMH in 2011.
Ben McCanna

After 12 days, The Memorial Hospital in Craig finally has its first newborn of 2011.

Jacob Dallas Schmedeke was born at 4:09 p.m. Wednesday to parents Tiffany and Frank Schmedeke, of Craig.

Jacob weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces and was 21 inches long. Mother and child are doing well, hospital officials reported.

Tiffany said she was surprised her son was 2011’s first baby at the hospital.

“I wasn’t even due until the 16th. And that was kind of a longshot,” she said.

Jacob is Tiffany’s first child and Frank’s fourth.

Tiffany, 22, is a certified nursing assistant at TMH, and Frank, 37, is a Craig Police Department officer. The couple were married in June 2010.

Tiffany said she had no trouble settling on a name for her firstborn.

“I’ve liked the name Jacob since I was a little girl,” she said. “I guess all my baby dolls were named Jake, and every dog I got I named Jake.”

Jacob has four siblings who live in New Mexico.

Frank said they’re excited to meet their new brother.

“My daughter’s already texting me saying we need to send her a picture every day until they get to see him,” he said.

TMH presented the new parents with a New Year’s baby gift basket containing sparkling apple cider, champagne flutes, receiving blankets, diapers, onesies and more.

Hospital concierge Jennifer Talkington said it was an unusual coincidence that it took so long for the New Year’s baby to arrive.

“We had all these births and then nothing,” Talkington said of late December. “It was so weird.”

Despite the late arrival of this year’s first baby, birth rates are rising at TMH, said Jennifer Riley, the hospital’s chief of organizational excellence.

“They’re way up,” she said of the birth rates.

TMH delivered 111 babies in 2009 and 126 babies in 2010.

“That’s a pretty significant increase year over year,” Riley said.

The hospital expects the trend will continue.

“Although this was our first baby of 2011, we’ve got a number of women who are expecting and are planning to deliver here,” Riley said. “So, we’re on pace to outpace 2010.”

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