Jo Anne Embleton
Jacksonville Daily Progress
Little Jesús Humberto Legarda was originally expected to make his debut on Jan. 14, but instead, surprised his family by becoming ETMC-Jacksonville’s first baby of 2013, born on New Year’s Day.
His mother, Elizabeth Muñoz Legarda, began having contractions late Monday afternoon at home as the couple were preparing to ring in the new year with friends, said the baby's dad, Octavio Legarda.
By 11 p.m., however, he and his wife hopped in their vehicle to make the hour-plus drive to Jacksonville because “we realized it was time to go,” Octavio said.
Despite inclement weather and potential holiday-related travel problems, he said the trip to Jacksonville, where Mrs. Legarda's obstetrician, Dr. Charles Burk, practices, was uneventful.
“We had a lot of rain, but we didn't have any problems. We drove slow, going 55 (mph) coming here,” he said. “There was a lot of water on the road.”
When the couple arrived, a nurse examined his wife “then called the doctor, because she said my wife was going to have the baby (soon),” Octavio said. “The doctor told us that she would have the baby sometime that morning, and she did.”
Elizabeth was in labor for a few hours after the doctor had pierced the amniotic sac that sheltered the baby, and nearly 12 hours after the Legardas set off for the hospital, little Jesús Humberto was born at 10:04 a.m. Tuesday, weighing in at 7 pounds 8 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.
He was the first of three New Year's Day babies delivered by Burk: A girl and a second boy were delivered early that afternoon, according to hospital staff.
“Elizabeth was 37 weeks, but she had her son spontaneously,” the doctor said, recalling past deliveries on Jan. 1, including one in El Paso in 2000.
“I tried to deliver the first millennium baby, but was two seconds off the record – another hospital had me beat,” he laughed, adding the birth was via emergency C-section. “That baby is now 13,” he said.
The Longview couple said they weren't really expecting for little Jesús to arrive on New Year's Day, but Octavio admitted they were prepared just in case.
“She came to see the doctor last week and (the assistant) who did a check up on (his wife) said 'Your baby is supposed to be here in a couple of weeks but I don't think so,'” Octavio recalled. “She told (Elizabeth) 'You better get ready because you may be going before (the due date).' So we thought about it and started getting everything together in case it happened, but we started celebrating for New Year's, getting food and all that, and then our plans changed at 5 o'clock.”
Then again, it really shouldn't have come as that much of a surprise, because their older son, 15-month Octavio Jr. “was about the same – he arrived two weeks early,” the boys' dad laughed.
As he watched his sleeping sons, Octavio added that his namesake isn't quite sure of what to make of the newest member of the family.
“He wants to stay away a little bit – he goes and kisses (his brother) then he goes away,” he said.
The couple is preparing to return to their native Chihuahua, Mexico, to baptize their new baby, but for now are grateful that events surrounding Jesús' birth went so smoothly.
“We give thanks to God for everything,” Octavio said.