FORT HOOD — Just 16 minutes into 2014, Fisher Alan Newman took his first breath, leaving his parents breathless.
Spc. Justin Newman, 20, a soldier with the 89th Military Police Brigade, and his wife, Sabrina, 20, are first-time parents of the first baby born in Bell County.
Fisher was born at 12:16 a.m. at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, and weighed in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces.
Battling a cold, Sabrina Newman said she went to the hospital Dec. 30 to get some medication. But much to her surprise, she was already 3 centimeters dilated.
“They told me I wasn’t going home because we were going to have a baby,” she said. “At that point, there was no saying no.”
As soon as she got the call, second-time grandmother Marcella Hardy raced against the clock to be present for the birth.
“He waited for me,” she said of the two flights she took from her home in Willmington, N.C. “As a mother, watching your child give birth is the most humbling experience. I am so proud of her.”
The Newmans’ baby made his debut three weeks early. He was originally slated to arrive Jan. 21.
“I was tired of being pregnant and I was sick most of my pregnancy so I just wanted him out,” the new mom said, adding that he will be her first and only child. “I wanted him to come early, I just didn’t expect him to come this early, let alone on New Year’s Day.”
Maj. Brenda Ploof, clinical nurse and officer in charge for labor and delivery, showered the new parents with baby essentials, including little hats knitted by area donors.
Although healthy and fully developed, their son will spend a few days in the neonatal intensive care unit to help with his breathing.
“This was the coolest thing I have ever been a part of,” said the proud new father. “The nurses had me help out and nothing will ever be able to compare to this experience.”
In 2013, Darnall delivered 2,815 babies, giving it the second highest delivery rate in the Army. The Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., delivers the most. Darnall had four births as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, all boys.
While Fisher was the first baby born in Bell County in 2014, other area hospitals were celebrating New Year’s Day births.
Arriving at 10:15 a.m. and weighing in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces, Bryceson Dublin, was the first baby born at Metroplex Hospital in Killeen.
At Scott & White Hospital in Temple, the first baby born arrived at 9:12 a.m. — a boy weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
Seton Medical Center Harker Heights welcomed its first 2014 baby at 2:19 p.m. The hospital had the first girl in the greater Killeen area, weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces.