Westmoreland's first baby of 2014 takes his time arriving
By Stacey Federoff
Published: Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
Jason and Erica Braden were sure they would be making a trip to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital to deliver their son in 2013.
But Logan had other plans and was the first baby of the new year born in the Greensburg maternity ward.
“Everybody kept telling us, ‘You can have a New Year's baby,' but I thought he was going to be born in December,” said Erica Braden, 32, who was surrounded by family on Thursday after delivering Logan just before 2 p.m.
The 9-pound, 2-ounce and 21.5-inch-long newborn cooed while older brother, 22-month-old Gavin, sat next to his mother on the hospital bed.
“When (Gavin) saw (Logan) today, he was very curious and wanted to touch his hair,” said Erica Braden, a teacher at Greater Latrobe Junior High School.
“I think he likes you,” she told Gavin, who was already decked out in a shirt emblazoned with “Big Bro.”
Erica Braden said she's glad Logan was the first baby born in Westmoreland County in 2014 to help him feel special when he gets older.
“This will give him his own special distinction from his brother,” she said, adding that Gavin's birthday is Feb. 20.
It's a little unusual for the first baby of the new year to be born more than 36 hours after the calendar turns, said Jaime Crawford, Excela Health spokeswoman.
The Greensburg hospital has the only maternity ward in the health system that covers parts of Westmoreland, Fayette and Indiana counties, where about 150 babies are born per month.
“It's just exciting for everybody involved,” Crawford said. “We're glad to be able to celebrate that time with the family.”
Jason Braden, 31, a teacher at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center, said he thought the family would be counting down the seconds to 2014 in the hospital.
“We thought we were going to be here New Year's Eve,” he said.
The couple had a contingency plan for the holiday, with grandparents Dave and Kathy Braden of Derry Township watching Gavin while grandmother Linda McIlnay of Unity went to the hospital.
Erica Braden said as Logan gets older, the family might have to adjust the traditional holiday meal of pork and sauerkraut to fit a birthday celebration.
“This will just be one more reason to gather together,” she said.
Erica Braden's sister, Sarah Loveridge, is pregnant with a girl due on Jan. 12.
“She was supposed to be the January baby; now we've got two,” the mother said.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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