Originally created 01/02/01

New Year's baby arrives early



Deneidra Stone's first baby was also Augusta's first baby - of the new millennium.

Kayla Amari Debra Stone, who weighed in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces shortly after the new year rang in Monday morning, arrived about a week earlier than her mother and doctors had expected.

But 21-year-old Ms. Stone and tiny Kayla made history in Augusta in more ways than one: The city's first baby of the year also was Medical College of Georgia Hospital's first midwife-delivered baby of 2001.

"Everybody was excited," Ms. Stone said, wearing a hospital gown and a smile.

Kayla was delivered naturally at 1:30 a.m. in a dark room with a single light shinning on her. Both her aunt and her grandmother were in the room when she exited the womb, and after receiving a gentle massage she was placed into her mother's arms, Dr. Jane Blackwell said.

After 27 years of delivering babies, Dr. Blackwell, a certified nursing midwife with MCG's 6-month-old midwifery program, said Kayla was her first New Year's baby.

"I called my mother to tell her this morning I (delivered) the first baby of the year in a city," Dr. Blackwell said.

Ms. Stone checked into the hospital at about 3 p.m. Sunday with mild contractions. She spent the next 10 hours alternating between walking around her labor and delivery room and sleeping. At about 1 a.m., her doctor said she was ready to deliver.

"There was no clear intention to be first baby in Augusta, but it turned out to be a wonderful surprise," Dr. Blackwell said. When midwives deliver, they try to work with a woman's body, to cause the least trauma to the mother and child.

"It was a wonderful and beautiful birth," Dr. Blackwell said. "(Kayla) was bright-eyed and smiling."

The midwife program at MCG is only six months old, and its participants have delivered about 80 children.

Marvin Stone, Ms. Stone's father and Kayla's grandfather, arrived shortly before 11 a.m. on New Year's Day to see his new granddaughter for the first time. He was working at the Cafe du Teau New Year's Eve party Sunday night when he found out his daughter was going into labor.

"She wasn't supposed to be here until my birthday, January 8th," Mr. Stone said. "I hope that's a sign of good luck."

Reach Heidi Coryell at (706) 823-3215.