Michael Brandy, Deseret Morning News
Lupe Apelu holds her newborn baby, Selueni, at Intermountain Medical Center. Selueni was the first baby to be born there.

It was 5:55 a.m. Monday when Lupe Apelu called LDS Hospital to tell her nurse midwife she was in labor.

Due to a unique circumstance, the first instruction certified nurse midwife Teresa Damery gave the expectant mother was to "wait five minutes." That is because the staff Apelu had been working with was five minutes away from moving out of LDS Hospital for facilities on the new Intermountain Medical Center campus.

Damery said the staff she works with was prepared to deliver babies at LDS during the wee hours Monday morning but was getting ready to bug out when Apelu called.

Apelu's first two children were born at LDS Hospital, so that facility was familiar to her. Still, staff had told her about the move to the new medical campus in Murray. "I didn't know whether I was supposed to go to LDS or come here" because of the timing — two weeks ahead of her due date.

So with instructions from Damery, she and her mom drove through the pre-dawn darkness, map in hand, to the sprawling new Intermountain Medical Center. At 11:56 a.m., Apelu became the first maternity patient to deliver the first baby at the new hospital's Gardner Women and Newborn Center: 7-pound, 13-ounce Selueni Apelu.

"I was a little nervous coming here," Apelu said from her hospital room, cradling her baby girl. Everything was so new, Apelu wondered whether the staff would know their way around. All went well, and Apelu found herself and her baby the focal point of a quiet celebration planned for this particular occasion. The hospital staff had a gift basket, robe and slippers for mom and a monogrammed blanket for the baby.

Nine babies were delivered at the new medical facility during its first 24 hours. Staff had the monogrammed blankets on hand for all of the babies born that first day, said hospital spokeswoman Jeni Owens.

Elsewhere in the new medical complex, the only visible confusion was in the west parking lot, which was completely filled by 9:30 a.m. with cars spilling into the TRAX station parking lot across the street. Inside, Owens said the first 24 hours of the medical center's operation went without any notable mishaps.

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