WEST JORDAN — Two mothers in two counties gave birth just after midnight to the state's first boy and girl of 2014.
Both Anthony John Schuler and May Mildenstein were born three seconds after midnight.
Anthony, born at Jordan Valley Hospital, came five weeks early. May was born at Timpanogos Regional Hospital on her exact due date.
"I didn't expect to have her right at midnight," Heather Mildenstein said. "I thought it would be probably the 31st or way into the first. But when it came down to it, we thought it would make a great story for her."
May, at 6 pounds, 14 ounces, joins two brothers, ages 5 and 2. Anthony, at 4 pounds, 3 ounces, was the first child for John Schuler and Whitney Buckley.
Anthony was due Feb. 5, but Buckley was experiencing preterm labor and placed on bed rest Dec. 23. Still, when she started to complain of cramps around 3 p.m. Tuesday, Schuler was skeptical.
"I was 100 percent sure she was being over the top," he said. "I thought she was icky pregnant, not feeling well. I was dead wrong."
They arrived at the hospital around 5:30 p.m. and doctors confirmed that Buckley was far enough along to be checked in. She said they were joking back and forth — Schuler wanted a 2013 baby for the tax write-off; she wanted a New Year's baby.
The doctor and nurses were making their own guesses about what time the baby boy would arrive.
"I said, 'I don't care. I just want a healthy baby,'" Buckley said, adding that she was told 12:15 a.m. was most likely the earliest her little boy would arrive. "Five pushes later, he was here. They were amazed."
Schuler said he immediately "started bawling" and thought the doctor and nurses were sharing in his joy over the couple's first child. Quickly, he realized the baby had arrived just three seconds after midnight and was likely the first baby of the year, which was a first for the hospital.
"I was just excited that it was totally not planned. I was not induced. It was not a C-section," Buckley said. "For the first eight years, he'll think New Year's is all about him."
The happy parents reported that Anthony is doing well despite his small size. He is being held in the newborn intensive care unit for monitoring of his blood sugars but is otherwise healthy.
"He's doing real good," Schuler said. "We're super excited."
Buckley said her pregnancy was a "daze" and that it was hard to grasp that a baby was really on the way until he was placed in her lap. On Wednesday, she couldn't stop smiling and doting on her newborn.
"You don't realize how much you can love another human being," she said.
In Orem, Heather Mildenstein said hers was a "wonderful experience" and that she was glad to hear of the other New Year's babies.
"I'm just happy for everyone," she said. "As long as they have safe, healthy deliveries, that's what's important."
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