Baby boy boom at Mitchell hospital11 boys, 1 girl born at Avera Queen of Peace in recent days - probably a record.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
Boy-o-boy-o-boy…. There’s what appears to be a pre-Christmas sale on males at the Avera Queen of Peace Maternal Care Center in Mitchell, where 11 boys have been born in recent days, according to Lisa Williams, clinical coordinator for maternal care, surgical and pediatrics.
“We’ve had an influx of babies all week long. Right now we’ve got 10 male babies in the hospital at one time — and no girls at all.” Williams barely finished that line on Wednesday before she learned that boy No. 11 was on the way. Two boys were born last week and remained in the hospital for extra care, but the testosterone rush really took hold this week. One girl came and went in the interim, but the nursery was all-male by Wednesday.
“On Tuesday we had six boy babies in all. We’ve had a booming floor up here,” Williams said.
All were single births, and the babies are from Mitchell and surrounding communities.
Nursery nurse Jane Sexton, now in her 35th year of caring for babies at Avera Queen of Peace, said the number isn’t the largest group of babies the center has handled at one time, but it’s probably a same-sex record.
The center, which technicality has a 12-baby capacity, has cared for as many as 16 babies at one time, Sexton said.
Gender has made little difference to the proud parents.
It was baby number two for Kara Lippert and husband Zach, of Mitchell. Their son, who was born at 8:59 p.m. Tuesday, was still nameless early Wednesday afternoon. The Lipperts were expecting a girl and hadn’t readied any boy names.
“I’m leaning toward Harvey,” Zach said, cradling his son, who was wearing a South Dakota State University Jackrabbits baby cap.
Kara wasn’t convinced and was open to exploring other naming options. She works as a registered pharmacist at Kmart, and Zach will soon start a job as a nurse’s assistant at Queen of Peace.
Aeron Clark and Nicole Mohnen, of Plankinton, were enjoying their new son Karter. The baby is Mohnen’s fourth, but the couple’s second child together.
“It’s my first boy,” dad said with a smile, “and it’s nice.” Clark works as a shift manager at the Coffee Cup at Interstate 90 and Highway 281 south of Plankinton. Mohnen was working in daycare prior to the birth of her son, but plans to stay at home with her kids for a while.
One thing is certain: The boys will help bolster South Dakota’s flagging birth rate, which according to the most recently available statistics was down 1.2 percent between 2008 and 2009.
“They’re all quite a Christmas gift,” said hospital spokeswoman Sherri Patzer.