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First babe welcomed at Women's Pavilion
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Carlessia, with mother Dana Jones, was the first baby born in the new Women & Children’s Pavilion at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. - photo by Tom Reed

The stork has landed.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Women & Children’s Pavilion officially opened for business on Wednesday. Pat Allen, director of women and children’s services, said the staff spent the morning transferring mothers and babies to the new facility.

"It all went smoothly. Everyone was moved in by 1 p.m.," she said.

It didn’t take long for the first baby to arrive. Carlessia Monaé Jones was born at 4:09 p.m., weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces.

Carlessia’s mom, Dana Jones of Gainesville, said it was sheer luck that she happened to have the first delivery. Her baby actually wasn’t due for about two more weeks, but she started having contractions Wednesday morning, and her doctor sent her to the hospital.

Jones said she was surprised when the staff told her she’d be going to the Pavilion. "I didn’t even know the new wing was finished," she said.

Jones has two other children, a teenage girl and a toddler-age boy, both of whom were also delivered at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. But she said the new obstetrics unit is far more luxurious than what she has experienced before.

"It was a big change," Jones said of the labor-delivery-recovery room where she gave birth. "It was comfortable and relaxing. There was more room for my family. I like the flat-screen TV, and I loved having a window with a good view."

Allen said there were five other routine births Wednesday after Carlessia arrived. And though no elective surgeries were scheduled on that first day, doctors also performed three caesarean sections because of delivery complications.

Hospital spokeswoman Katie Dubnik said the first C-section baby was Caden James Idol, son of Jamie and Chip Idol of Gainesville. He made a quick entrance into the world at 5:03 p.m.

The $50 million Women & Children’s Pavilion has four surgical suites for C-sections, tubal ligations and other procedures. The old obstetrics unit had just two operating rooms.

The facility also has 18 labor-delivery-recovery rooms, eight antepartum rooms for pregnant women on monitored bed rest, and eight exam/observation rooms.

It also has a new neonatal intensive care unit that’s three times larger than the old NICU, with 26 individual rooms.

Allen said there have been no glitches with any of the new systems or equipment. "It was just a real comfort to know that everything works as good as it looks," she said.

"It’s just like living a dream. It’s everything we were hoping it would be."

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