Girl power got a little stronger in the Patrick household Tuesday.
Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s first baby of 2013 was Leah Ruth Patrick, daughter of Scott and Sheryl Patrick of Gainesville. Leah is Scott’s third daughter and Sheryl’s second. Their other daughters are 13 months old and 13 years old.
With mom holding the newborn, the couple beamed for pictures with Dr. Michael Connor, who delivered Leah at the Gainesville hospital.
“I think she’s wonderful — a beautiful baby girl. Happy and healthy; she’s already smiling,” Sheryl said.
Sheryl said their newest daughter got her name from different sources. Ruth is a family name, and Sheryl’s mom suggested Ruth.
Sheryl arrived at the hospital Tuesday morning in labor and, about three hours later, delivered via cesarean section. At her 9:12 a.m. birth, Leah was 8 pounds, 5 ounces and 19« inches long.
“They’re doing great; they’re both stable and just trying to rest,” said Gentry Henry, charge nurse at the hospital’s Women & Children’s Pavilion.
Scott, seated next to his wife’s hospital bed, said having a third daughter “was an awesome feeling.”
“I’m going to have my hands full,” he said, smiling.
Having the first baby of the year brings more than just recognition from hospital staff and media attention.
The couple had a roomful of donated gifts, including a bassinet/changer, a $500 savings bond, a gift certificate for Leah’s first pair of shoes and a free portrait package. The hospital also will treat them to a steak dinner.
“This is a very nice surprise,” Sheryl said. “We had a scheduled C-section (next week), but she decided to come early.”
There was a bit of a race for first baby, Henry said.
“We had somebody else who was 5 centimeters (dilated) who came here in labor during the night,” she said.
Sheryl interrupted: “Everybody was racing to have them yesterday,” the last day of the year, when a new arrival also means a big break on taxes.
Neither of the Patricks’ other daughters were at the hospital Tuesday, with Scott noting that the 13-year-old was eager to see the newborn.
“She’s been great with our other one,” Sheryl said. “Yeah, she’s excited.”