Twenty-two hours into the new year of 2014, no babies had been born. Four mothers were in labor at Pullman Regional Hospital's BirthPlace, with a fifth in the wings. The newspapers and television stations had been calling all day.
At 10:02 p.m., Jonathan David Carvin put an end to the waiting.
“No hitches,” recalled long-time Pullman Regional delivery nurse Linda Rauch. “Perfect birth. Perfect parents. Just a beautiful baby.”
JJ, as his parents call him, entered the world at 6 pounds, 10 ounces and 19.5 inches long. His mother, Lisa Carvin, recalled waking New Year's Day morning knowing labor was imminent, even though JJ wasn't due for another 15 days. By 1 p.m., Lisa and her husband, Jonathan Carvin, had traveled from their home in Moscow and settled into a BirthPlace family suite at Pullman Regional. Dad, an offensive line coach for the University of Idaho Vandals, admitted that his football competitiveness surfaced and he thought he and Lisa might have a shot at having the first New Year's baby.
Rauch confirmed that in her experience, New Year's Day always adds extra excitement to the arrival of babies.
The Carvins said any extra fretting they might have had amid the New Year’s excitement was quickly mollified by the professional care and facilities the hospital offered. “It was fantastic,” Jonathan said.
“The care was exceptional, and we couldn't believe how big the room was. It was the perfect private room.”
Pullman Regional Hospital recently received the national Women's Choice Award for being one of the country's best hospitals for patient experience in obstetrics.
“I think it's hard to find a place as special as Pullman Regional Hospital,” said Linda, who at 53 has spent the majority of her career as a delivery nurse.
Lisa and Jonathan said they heard about BirthPlace thorough word of mouth—friends insisted they experience Pullman Regional Hospital for their delivery. Linda and other staff proved reports to be accurate. “Linda was amazing. She was the greatest nurse ever.” Lisa said.
“She was so warm and caring and friendly, and so good at explaining everything. She stayed with us the whole time.”
The Carvins 22-month-old daughter, Kinsie, was home with her grandpa when her brother was born. She, according to her mom, made a more leisurely entrance into the world. JJ, once he started, all but burst onto the scene.
“When the time came for him to come, it was very fast,” Jonathan agreed.
So the Carvins had their New Year's baby. And they soon found out they had had the first New Year's baby at Pullman Regional. The following day, Lisa learned JJ was the first baby of 2014 in the quad-cities.
She shared the news with Jonathan when he returned to the hospital, and the couple agreed to give JJ the spotlight. A Lewiston Tribune reporter interviewed the family, a photographer snapped a picture, and television news team visited.
“On television. That's a pretty good way to start the new year,” Jonathan said of his son's celebrity status. The excitement, said the Carvins, seemed counterbalanced by JJ's easy-going demeanor, the expertise of their doctor, Nigel Campbell, and the hospital's BirthPlace staff.
“I don't know what could have been better, to be honest,” Jonathan said, “Between the people, the care, the facility, the doctor, everything was awesome.”
Scott Adams, CEO at the hospital, said Pullman Regional, as reflected through the recent national recognition, strives to provide the best birth experience possible.
JJ's future, said his dad and mom, might indeed include some football. “He's pretty strong, I can tell you that much,” said Jonathan, who played linebacker at the University of Albany in New York and coached at the University of Illinois and now UI.
Asked how they might celebrate JJ's birthday on New Year's Days in the future, Lisa didn't hesitate to join her husband's football dreams. “At a bowl game somewhere,” she said.