Tucked into her mother’s arms, a swaddled and snoozing Maggie Elizabeth Ridgeway was a baby of firsts.
Maggie sprang into the world at 3:10 a.m. Jan. 1 at 21 inches and 9 pounds, 5 ounces in a delivery room at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville — making her Hall County’s first baby of 2018.
But being the first baby in a county of 200,000 wasn’t good enough for little Maggie. She’s also the first child of Cami and Casey Ridgeway and the first grandchild for both families.
For Cami’s parents, Lee and Kerri Lawson, she’s the first child born into the family in 17 years.
For Maggie’s parents, it didn’t seem likely that their daughter would be the first baby born in Hall when they arrived at the hospital at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. It was their second trip to Gainesville — they were sent home on Saturday, when contractions started, because Cami wasn’t close enough to giving birth.
“We came in at 10 in the morning (on Sunday) and we had made some good progress, so we didn’t think she would last that long — that it would be after midnight,” Cami said, still holding her sleeping baby. “But she took it slow because she wanted to be the first baby.”
Contractions had been consistent when they got to the hospital, but after an epidural they practically vanished, Casey said.
“They just stopped, and it went so slow — it was kind of like a roller coaster ride,” he said.
Despite a 40-hour delivery, Cami’s pregnancy was “smooth sailing” with Maggie, she said.
The parents, both 27 and both nurses with the Northeast Georgia Health System, were exhausted but at ease in their room on the second floor of the medical center’s Women and Children’s Pavilion. Cami’s parents were still visiting, and Casey’s had left earlier in the morning.
Maggie was named for her great-grandmothers, Margaret on her mother’s side and Elizabeth on her father’s.
The family received a collection of gifts from the hospital, from toys to a crib to a photography session, and will soon be heading home to Buford.
Cami said she wanted her 2018 to be about “getting acquainted to a family and a life of three and taking care of Maggie.”