WOODSTOCK – Sliding on snow-covered roads, the car Jeremy Anderson drove Wednesday morning found a Bull Valley ditch.
As the tow truck arrived, the mother of his child sat inside the car in the beginning stages of labor – strained by the pending arrival of Jacob Michael, the first baby of the new year born in McHenry County.
“It took forever – as I’m sitting there contracting,” said Catherine Bigsby, able to laugh in the light of the day after her son’s 11:57 p.m. birth. “I thought maybe I was going to have the baby in the tow truck.”
Bigsby’s contractions actually slowed during the wait for the truck – her body reacting to worry, she guessed. More than 12 hours later, her and Anderson’s boy arrived weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 19 inches.
Jacob was due Dec. 31.
“When I went over [the due date], I figured it’d be another week before I had him,” said Bigsby, of McHenry, in her room at Centegra Hospital – Woodstock. Anderson, of McHenry, stood next to her holding their newborn, who was wrapped up with a baby blue hat atop his head.
The county just missed going without a New Year’s Day baby, which wouldn’t have been the first time, Centegra Spokeswoman Kim Kubiak said. Both Centegra hospitals see about 80 new births a month, but the first of the year has held out for the second or third day in previous years.
Early Wednesday, Erin and Jason Curtin were the first McHenry County family to have a baby when Maci Joyce was born at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington – across the border into Lake County.
The Curtins, who live in Crystal Lake, had their daughter at 12:31 a.m., not long after watching the televised countdown to 2014.
Centegra staff delivered Bigsby a care package Thursday afternoon for being the first baby of the new year.
“It’s all about the hype and the joy that comes with the new baby, especially on the first day of the year,” said Joan Stout, assistant director of women’s services for Centegra.
The new parents said the experience had been a roller coaster.
“Surreal. It’s not what you think it is, especially being the first time,” Bigsby said. “But we’re definitely still loving it.”