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January 20, 2004 > Washington Hospital welcomes 2004's first baby

Washington Hospital welcomes 2004's first baby

Nurses wait 25 years to see New Year's baby

Washington Hospital gave a warm welcome to the first baby of 2004 in the entire Bay Area - only one second after the clock struck 12 a.m.
Abby Virginia Avila Hernandez, weighing 6 lbs., 7 oz., was welcomed into the world by proud parents, Guadalupe Hernandez and Jesus Avila, both of Newark.
Abby became an instant celebrity as the first baby born throughout all Bay Area counties.

Television crews, newspaper reporters and photographers all clamored to see little Abby, who surprised her parents by arriving a little more than two weeks earlier than expected.

Nurses welcome first New Year's baby in 25-year tenure
Abby also surprised the Washington Hospital nurses who helped deliver her. Hernandez went into labor at 10 a.m. on Dec. 31, and was brought to the hospital at 4 p.m. That evening, after she stopped making progress during labor, the nurses didn't expect Hernandez to deliver. At 11:45 p.m. Hernandez called nurses to her room and 15 minutes later she delivered her New Year's baby.

So excited to witness the birth of 2004's first baby, Washington Hospital nurses were poised to take a picture of the clock at the exact moment of birth.
Abby's birth was cause for special celebration for two of the nursing staff members at Washington Hospital who helped bring Abby into the world.

"We were all excited," said Sabina Corpus, Washington Hospital labor nurse. "I've been here 25 years and this was the first time we had a New Year's baby.
"The fact that (Abby) came right after the stroke of midnight was really exciting."

Corpus said she even joked right after Abby's birth that she could now retire after greeting her first New Year's baby.

Little Abby receives special attention
Many Washington Hospital nurses stopped by to get a first glimpse of the first baby born at Washington Hospital on New Year's in a quarter of a century.
"We were all cheering," she said. "People were waiting by the door. We were all so excited."

Corpus, who lives in Newark, and has worked her entire 25 years at Washington Hospital on the night shift, said she thinks her job is always exciting, but seeing the first baby of the New Year was particularly special.
Donna Hurley, who has worked for Washington for 26 years this March, said she's probably delivered as many as 25,000 babies, but Abby was her first New Year's baby. Hurley was the resuscitator for Hernandez's delivery in case the baby was in distress, but in Abby's case, Hurley was happy to report that she was a healthy New Year's baby.

"It was very exciting since we have been waiting 25 years for this," Hurley said. "We didn't expect it at all because (the mother) wasn't progressing."
When Abby was born, Hurley said she felt a little bit like the grandmother.
"I really felt like a great big part of it," she said. "It was nice to be there for the occasion - and the baby came out healthy, which was even more wonderful."
Corpus and Hurley have, combined, waited more than 50 years to see a Washington Hospital New Year's baby.

Hospital wishes the new family well
To congratulate the family who brought the first baby of the New Year to Washington Hospital, Brent Hodson, Washington Hospital's Chief of Community Support Services presented Hernandez and Avila with $100 gift certificates to both Babies "R" Us and Target.

Originally from Michoacan, Mexico, Hernandez and Avila live in Newark. Hernandez works as a cook in a Newark restaurant and Avila works for Walters & Wolf Precast. Hernandez said she will stay home for two months with her new baby and then plans on returning to work. Abby has an older sister, Adeline, 5, whose birthday is Dec. 5.

After Abby was born her mom said, "We hope everyone has the same happiness that we had for the New Year."

Washington Hospital wishes Abby a Happy New Year and Happy Birthday!

To find out more about recent happenings at Washington Hospital, visit

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