MUSCATINE, Iowa — Muscatine’s first baby of the year has the hospital’s obstetrics and gynecology wing all to himself.
It was empty before Tyler Drake Howard was born at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4, at Trinity Muscatine Hospital.
That makes for a comparatively quiet nursery, considering the fact that 40 babies were born there last month, said registered nurse Cathy Dennison.
Tyler’s parents, Samantha Gonzales and Brent Howard, both 20 and from Muscatine, knew there was a chance their child would have a 2011 birthday.
He was due Dec. 31.
They arrived at Trinity at 5 p.m. Monday and Tyler came along at 8 a.m. Tuesday, weighing in at 8.6 pounds. He was delivered by Dr. Heidi Sturtevant.
The hospital brought the family gift certificates to Hy-Vee and Happy Joe’s, diapers and other gifts in honor of Tyler’s first-baby-of-the-year status.
Gonzales and Howard plan to take Tyler home today.
“Everything is ready,” said Gonzales.
But a challenge awaits.
“We’ll be introducing him to my mom’s puppy, Baby,” said Gonzales. “We don’t know what to expect. Baby will meet the baby.”
Tyler’s maternal grandparents are Tammy Hill and Chito Gonzales, both of Muscatine. His paternal grandparents are Tammera Retherford of East Moline, Ill., and Boyd Howard of Muscatine.