There are lots of important things to do before a new baby arrives. Moms who are expecting often like to take plenty of time to set up a special place for the baby to sleep. It’s good to have a discussion with the doctor about delivery options. Some expectant mothers like to spend time stocking the fridge with prepared meals, and then there’s the task of packing the all-important hospital bag to be snatched up on the way out the door when the big day arrives.
These are all great things to do if you have time, but Kanisha Bridges didn’t get as much time as she expected. “My due date was January 10,” she says, “and I had her January first!” Bridges says she had a baby bed and some baby clothes, but she was a long way from being fully prepared.
Bridges is the mother of the first baby born in 2018 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, and the timing of her baby’s entrance into the world was unexpected. She got up at 3 a.m. on New Year’s Day to make a trip to the bathroom when her water broke.
“I was not ready, at all!” Bridges says. “I did not have anything together – not a toothbrush or PJ’s – I mean nothing!” The expectant mother and the father-to-be quickly packed up and headed for the hospital. “It started out as 10 to 12 minutes [between contractions],” Bridges says. “When I got to the hospital, they were five minutes, then one minute apart.”
When Bridges went to bed on New Year’s Eve, she didn’t know she’d be starting the New Year with a special delivery. “A beautiful baby girl,” Bridges says happily. “We named her Ja’Toya LeBrea Jones, coming into the world at eight pounds, 4.3 ounces and 20 inches long.”
The baby’s arrival may have been frantic, but Bridges says she’s glad it happened early for another reason. “I have another daughter, and now she has a best friend and a baby sister.”
It had already been an unforgettable start to the New Year. Then Bridges was elated when she heard some news she hadn’t expected.
“The doctors told me I was the first patient to have my baby on New Year’s Day,” she says. “I was so excited!”
Little Ja’Toya received a special New Year’s baby bathtub filled with goodies from Fort Sanders Regional to help her get a great start in life. Mother and baby are home, healthy, and enjoying getting to know one another.
Waiting for the Arrival
Most women deliver between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. But babies come when they’re ready, so due dates are never carved in stone. Obstetrical physicians, including high-risk pregnancy specialists, are important healthcare partners for mothers who deliver their babies “pre-term” or “post-term.”