It was a night of firsts for one family in the Bay Area.
At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, Kara Jeter, 20, welcomed her firstborn and the Bay Area’s first baby of 2013 into the world — and he was delivered by her own grandmother.
“It was a great experience, I would have never thought this would happen,” said Jeter.
At eight pounds, 25 ounces, Harley Daniel Sparks, is named after the baby’s father, Thomas Harley Sparks.
“I’ve delivered New Year’s babies before, but it’s special when it’s your own grandchildren,” said Dr. Debra Stewart, 52, who’s not only Jeter’s grandmother but also her obstetrician. “This will be a hard new year to top.”
Baby Harley was originally due on Jan. 3. But at noon on New Year’s Eve, Jeter’s water broke. After 10 hours in labor and still no baby, Jeter’s doctor/grandmother decided it was time to schedule a C-section for midnight.
“It was definitely exciting,” said Stewart. “When he was born, we sort of forgot it was the new year because it was somebody’s birthday.”
Stewart says her granddaughter was afraid when she learned she’d be undergoing major surgery but things quickly changed when she heard the baby screaming.
“When I heard his cry, the first cry, I just started crying and didn’t even think of my stomach still open,” said Kara. “I forgot all about it.”
After working as a labor nurse for 16 years, Stewart decided to put herself through medical school and become an obstetrician-gynecologist. For the past 11 years, Stewart has worked as an OB-GYN at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, where she lives. Baby Harley’s parents live in Bakersfield, Calif., about 250 miles south of Antioch, and were visiting her grandmother in Antioch for Christmas.
“This is one of those very rare, warm and fuzzy stories that will put a smile on your face,” said Angela Lombardi, spokeswoman for Sutter Delta Medical Center. “Harley Daniel was born right on the dot at 00:00. What a way to ring in the new year. Then we hear that Kara, the mother, is Dr. Stewart’s granddaughter, so that means Dr. Stewart just delivered her great-grandson, and the story just kept getting better.”
This is not the first family delivery for Stewart. Harley marks the 10th family member she’s delivered. Out of her eight grandchildren, Stewart has delivered seven of them as well as her three great-grandchildren.
“God is good. It’s definitely a miracle, and when you see it happen within your own family it’s pretty special,” said Stewart. “I feel blessed.”
Mother and baby Harley are resting at the hospital for another few days. Stewart says her granddaughter is tired but happy that her grandmother was in the room with her.
“It’s a blessing that my grandma was the one who delivered my son,” said Jeter. “She was there for me the whole time and she didn’t leave my side ever.”