Erin and Jason Curtin watched the televised New Year’s countdown from a hospital room during their last few minutes as a family of two.
With the new year, the Crystal Lake couple welcomed Maci Joyce Curtin, 2014’s first McHenry County baby – although she was born over the Lake County border at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington. Nurses told them of the milestone several times before it registered, Jason remembered.
“We were kind of taken back by her and not so much the timing,” he said. “She’s really awesome. It’s an amazing experience.”
Maci Joyce was born at 12:31 a.m. She weighs 6 pounds, 4 ounces, is 20 inches long and has 10 fingers and 10 toes.
Friends joked with the Curtins beforehand that Maci would end up a Christmas baby, or have the same birthday as her mother – Dec. 26.
Instead, Erin Curtin, 29, was admitted to the hospital Tuesday afternoon, a couple days after the baby’s Dec. 29 due date. But while she took time to decide she wanted to come out, Maci eventually kicked it into high gear. She was born after about 25 minutes of active labor.
Not long after they watched the seconds tick away to a new year, contractions intensified, but Erin Curtin still figured theirs might not be the first baby of the new year.
“(I thought,) ‘It’ll take awhile. It’s not going to happen that fast,’ “ she said.
Soon after, Maci was in the arms of her parents.
“We did the whole countdown thing and then next thing we know we were in delivery,” said Jason Curtin, 32. “The nurses were really ecstatic.”
Both parents said having the first baby of a McHenry County family was a bonus reward for an experience made most special by their new, healthy addition.
“She’s a little peanut,” Erin Curtin said.