West Jordan • Whitney Buckley smiled Wednesday as she imagined her son’s future birthdays spent watching falling confetti and blasting fireworks.
"For the first eight years, he’ll think New Year’s is all for him," she said. With a due date of Feb. 5, the first-time mother wasn’t expecting to have Utah’s first baby of 2014.
But 4-pound-5-ounce Anthony John Schuler had other plans, and came into the world wide-eyed at three seconds past midnight at Jordan Valley Medical Center.
He wasn’t the state’s only first baby of 2014, though. At the exact same time in Orem, Heather Mildenstein gave birth to baby girl May Shelly.
"It’s crazy — what are the odds?" said Mildenstein. The baby is the Provo couple’s third child after 5-year-old Cole and 2-year-old Hawk. Mildenstein had a Jan. 1 due date, but she didn’t think she’d end up with a New Year’s baby, either.
"I didn’t think people really had babies at midnight," she said. Mildenstein came into Timpanogos Regional Hospital about 3 p.m. Tuesday, where her labor was medically induced.
"Once I got the epidural, everything just happened really fast," she said. As the time inched toward midnight, her husband, Matthew, watched the clock as she briefly stopped pushing under a doctor’s supervision.
"She held off the last 20 minutes, then one push and she’s out," Matthew Mildenstein said.
"It’s a good way to start the new year," Heather Mildenstein said. The 6-pound-14-ounce baby slept through a Wednesday interview wrapped in a green blanket edged in pink.
At her Draper home, Buckley had been on doctor-ordered bed rest since physicians halted an early labor on Dec. 23. Though her husband was hoping to go to sleep early to make it into a new job the next morning, cramps and pressure convinced her it was time to go to the hospital at about 5:30 p.m.
Though staff initially started to discharge her, after a final check Buckley was admitted and went into active labor. A nurse pointed out the time at 11:25 p.m., but Buckley wasn’t pushing yet and it looked like the baby wouldn’t arrive until long after midnight.
But "five pushes later, he was here," said Buckley. They set the baby on her lap, and she thought, "No, seriously, is this really happening? Am I really a mom?"
Her husband, John Schuler, said he "held it together pretty good" until the baby was born.
"I just started bawling," he said. During an interview Wednesday, Buckley held the little boy in the crook of her arm, a white Ohio State University hat on his head — his dad is a big fan. A long cord tethered the infant to a monitor used to supervise him in the neonatal intensive care unit for a few days, though hospital staff say he is doing well.
Buckley smiled when asked about the tie between little Anthony and May Shelly Mildenstein.
"That’s exciting!" she said. "The first girl and the first boy."
"I’m sure a lot of babies were born last night," her husband added. "And every single one is great."
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