Just a few hours after the birth of her sister, Makayla McGowan already was proving to be a helpful older sibling. As her mother Mary Valvo rested quietly in her maternity suite at Spring Hill Regional Hospital, Makayla was busy delivering baby bottles, booties and toys and peeked every so often at her new sister nestled in a blanket and knitted cap.
The Sunday morning arrival of Madison Alexandria Valvo also meant she would be getting plenty of unexpected attention as well. Born at 10:12 a.m. and weighing in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces, Madison became Hernando County's first newborn of 2005.
"It's kind of nice to have a special birthday," offered Mary Valvo, 19, whose own birthday is the Fourth of July. Though Madison was born a couple of days shy of her due date, Valvo said she began thinking on New Year's Eve that her daughter just might arrive a little earlier than planned.
"I just had this funny feeling," said Valvo, who said she and a friend spent New Year's Eve learning how to knit.
According to Valvo, when she arrived in labor at about 6 a.m. at Spring Hill Regional, the county's only hospital with a full-time maternity ward, she was surprised to learn from hospital staff said that the county's first birth of the New Year had yet to be born.
In fact, said Michelle Hale, a certified nurse midwife at Spring Hill Regional, a woman thought to be in labor arrived late Saturday morning, but was sent home later in the day without giving birth.
Hale, who attended Valvo at the hospital, said the delivery was routine. Also in attendance: Valvo's mother, Laura Robinson, daughter Makayla, and friend Andrea Maybee. The baby's father, Justin McGowan, who lives in New York, was not present for the delivery.
Valvo said she chose the name Madison because she likes the sound of names that begin with the letter "m".
"Madison is a unique name," she said "It's not something you hear everyday."