LEWISTON — Central Maine Medical Center took the prize for 2012 in its friendly long-standing competition with St. Mary's Regional Medical Center for which Twin Cities hospital gets to claim bragging rights for the first baby of the new year.
At 8:29 a.m. Sunday at CMMC, new mother Jessica Cline welcomed daughter Natalie Jayne Cline. The 8-pound, 20 1/2 inch bundle of joy took her time before making her official entrance as the first Androscoggin County baby for 2012.
"I'm very excited. This is our first one," Jessica said Sunday afternoon while she gently cradled her newborn daughter.
Jessica, 28, and her 26-year-old husband, Anthony, said they didn't set out to have the first baby born in 2012, although with a Dec. 31 due date it's not surprising.
The contractions started Friday, but the hospital kept sending them home during the first half of the weekend. When her water finally broke Saturday night, Jessica was admitted and spent nearly 12 hours in labor until delivering via C-section Sunday morning.
"I think it's probably a mixed bag for me. I'm excited and nervous," the new father said as he looked down at his wife and daughter with a smile on his face.
The new parents received a diaper cake from the hospital to celebrate their new arrival.
While the Auburn couple celebrated being first in the Twin Cities, a Lewiston couple came in a close second down the road at St. Mary's.
"I'm fine with that," laughed new mom Audrey Chapman, 35, about not being the first delivery of 2012. "For me it was more about having a baby on my birthday or really close to my birthday."
Chapman came close to sharing her New Year's Eve birthday with her 7-pound, 19 3/4 inch baby girl, Emmaleen Delia Carey, who arrived at 9:39 a.m. Sunday. Chapman and her husband, 35-year-old Michael Carey, were actually at a New Year's Eve party at Fuel Restaurant in Lewiston when she went into labor shortly after 8 p.m.
The couple said they were not only excited by their daughter's birth, but also surprised, given that her due date wasn't until the following week. Even though she arrived a bit early, Chapman said the baby girl was given a clean bill of health by doctors.