Cape hospitals greet first babies of 2006

Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Owen Bennett Horrell was born Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at Southeast Missouri Hospital to parents Amber and Tim Horrell of Cape Girardeau. He weighed 10 pounds and 5 ounces. (Diane L. Wilson)

A fresh-faced baby greeted the new year at Southeast Missouri Hospital on Sunday, stopping short a New Year's Eve party he was attending about 21 hours earlier.

The first baby born at Saint Francis Medical Center waited until the next day to make her own special appearance.

Owen Bennett Horrell was with his parents, Amber and Tim Horrell of Cape Girardeau, at the home of Tim Horrell's sister when the contractions began. While millions of people around the world were heralding the new year at midnight, the Horrells were laboring to the hospital -- and mother was driving.

"We didn't make it to the end of the party," said Tim Horrell. "But it's turning out to be another party now."

Owen Bennett Horrell was born at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, becoming the first area baby born in 2006. The healthy boy weighed 10 pounds, 5 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

"I didn't realize he'd weigh that much, but the doctors said he would be pretty big," said Amber Horrell, glancing down at her first baby, wrapped in white cloth.

The hospital room Monday afternoon was a flurry of activity as nurses ran tests on the mother and her baby, and relatives dropped by to greet the newborn and his parents.

"People have been making a big fuss over him," said Tim Horrell, an employee at Cottonwood Treatment Center. "We had no idea he would be the first baby of the year. So that's pretty exciting."

Amber Horrell, a para-professional teacher at Jefferson Elementary School, agreed with her husband.

"The nurses here are all excited. They were really hoping he would be born on the first day of the year," she said, adding that she'll be a stay-at-home mom for six weeks before returning to work.

The baby boy was named after his grandparents. His first name is the middle name of his mother's father, and his middle name is the middle name of his father's father.

"We knew ahead of time that it would be a boy," said the proud father. "But we didn't tell anyone what his name would be. We wanted that to be a surprise."

The Horrells plan on having more children, but that will have to wait for another new year.

Jenna Kay Harvey arrived for her role as first baby of the new year fashionably late, at 12:15 p.m. Monday. She is the first child of Brianna and Jason Harvey and the first grandchild for both sides of the growing new family.

New mom Brianna Harvey is a loan processor for a local bank and proud daddy Jason Harvey is store manager at Sears.

For being the first born at Saint Francis, Jenna and her parents will receive gift certificates from local restaurants and gift cards from several local stores. Jenna will receive a new stuffed bear from Saint Francis' marketing department, as well as an assortment of newborn-size diapers. The new mom will receive a free massage and a Pilates one-on-one session.

Baby Jenna weighed 8 pounds and is 20 inches long.

"We are thrilled to have a happy and healthy baby," said the new parents. "It is just so great to have our first baby as the first baby at Saint Francis Medical Center."

Starting off the new year as new parents makes 2006 extra special for the family, which also includes an English bulldog, CJ.

"We're just so thrilled about everything," Brianna Harvey said. "I can't wait for our family to come down from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas City and St. Louis to join us. I'm not sure it has hit us yet."

"I'm still pacing," Jason Harvey said.

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