Medical center sees baby boom

Record 49 children born during August

— In the 31 days of August this year, 49 babies were born at Yampa Valley Medical Center, making it the most children born ever in Steamboat in one month.

That crushes the old record of 36 in May 2000.

"To put this in perspective," Yampa Valley Medical

Center spokeswoman Christine McKelvie said, "the average number of babies born in the first seven months of this year 2001 is almost 28."

Of the 49 August babies, 29 were boys and 20 were girls. Also, 23 of the moms were from Steamboat Springs, 12 were from Craig and the rest were spread throughout Oak Creek, Hayden, Kremmling, Walden, Rand, Hamilton and Meeker. The mothers ranged in age from 17 to 37, with an average age of 27 years old, McKelvie said.

"This is the medical center being busy at its best," case manager Jane Howell said.

Some of the busiest days in the record-breaking month included Aug. 6, when three babies were born in two-and-a-half hours; Aug. 15, when four were born in 12 hours; and a whopping five babies came into the world Aug. 20.

Linda Casner, associate administrative director of nursing, said the increased number is due in part to the Craig hospital diverting expectant mothers to Steamboat during two periods of the month because it didn't have the capacity to perform Caesarean sections.

"There were some who would have delivered in Craig," Casner said.

However, without those patients, the number still would have been high, she said.

McKelvie estimated most of babies born in August probably were conceived during the month of November and suggested that maybe last year's early winter conditions could have had an influence. (The first big snow to hit Routt County last year was Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.)

"I wouldn't say it's been a lot of stress," registered nurse Faith Detwiler said of the increased work. "We've all put in some extra hours but this is the type of work we enjoy."

One of the more memorable times of the month, Detwiler recalled, was the day she just finished delivering one child when another mother arrived at the hospital in labor. Twenty minutes later, Detwiler was delivering another baby.

"It gets pretty crazy," she admitted.

Detwiler added it takes good teamwork among the 30 registered nurses on staff who work with the mothers to successfully pull off delivering this many babies at the medical center.

Austin O'Malia was the 47th baby born in August. On Friday, shortly after his delivery, he was being held by his mom, Kaley, of Craig, who went into labor Wednesday. This is her second child delivered in Steamboat Springs but the first at the new medical center.

"The care is the same," O'Malia said of the quality of nursing she received. "But the space and the rooms are so much better."

A once-nervous father, Justin Iacovetto was nearly speechless in the cafeteria after his wife, Cara, had the 48th baby, Bailey Ann, on Thursday. Though he looked tired from being awake most the night, the first-time father couldn't get a smile off his face.

"It was a long wait, but it was worth it," he said.

Iacovetto was joined by his parents, Luanne and Wayne, and Cara's parents, John and Cindia Costner, and Cara's brother, Bryan, at 9 a.m. for support. Bryan Costner said he stayed up all night, too, because he was nervous about his sister having the baby.

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