At 5 p.m. Monday, Lorena and Eduardo Castellanos were making a scheduled prenatal visit to the UTMB clinic in Pasadena. Less than an hour later, they were going 80 mph down the highway, ahead of an impending storm, to reach the delivery room at UTMB Medical Center in Galveston.
The doctor at the clinic had just told them that Lorena was five centimeters dilated, and their third baby was on the way. The news put Eduardo into a kind of rush mode.
“When they told me she was five, we kind of got a little worried,” Eduardo said.
“I just told her if the cops pulled me over just start …” he said before launching into a fit of fake Lamaze breathing. “We’d say, ‘she’s in labor, so can you let us go?’”
Fortunately, the Castellanos did not get pulled over and reached the hospital well before the rainstorm dumped record rain on the island. And today, their Mercedes-Benz crossover will be one car-seat heavier and traveling much slower as it travels back to their home in Pasadena.
Jacob Anthony Castellanos was born at 12:25 a.m., Tuesday, the first baby born in Galveston County in 2013. Weighing in at just over six pounds, he was wide-awake Tuesday afternoon, about 14 hours after he came into the world, an event that really got going after midnight.
After their speedy sojourn to the hospital, Lorena waited about five hours before actually going into labor.
At 12:03, Eduardo took note of the clock
“He told me Happy New Year,” Lorena said. “I was screaming.”
Jacob joins two other Castellanos sons, Abraham, 9, and, Nathan, who has his first birthday on Jan. 10.
As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, there had been eight New Years babies born at UTMB, four girls, three boys and another born by C-section whose sex a hospital spokesperson could not immediately provide. The hospital delivered about 5,400 babies in 2012.
The baby was delivered by midwife Cheryl Scalora and nurse Samantha Hedge.
Although it will be a while before he can stay awake late enough to celebrate his birth minute, his parents already know that they will be staying up a couple minutes longer each year to celebrate his special occasion.
“We’re going to say ‘Happy New Years’ and then 25 minutes later, we’re going to sing Happy Birthday,” Lorena said.