Cumberland Times-News


November 23, 2009

First delivery at new hospital two of a kind

Sarah, Daniel Emerick born early Sunday

CUMBERLAND — Sarah and Daniel Emerick must have heard about the grand opening of the hospital.

The twins weren’t due until Christmas week, but they showed up Sunday morning, just 18 hours after Western Maryland Regional Medical Center opened to the public for the first time.

They are the first babies to be born at the new hospital.

“The doctors told us, ‘We did this a thousand times — just not here,’” said Matthew Emerick, the twins’ father, who was in the operating room during the C-section births. “Everything went smoothly. The labor room was very well-prepared. They was very pleased with the way everything went, and we was, too.”

With 12 postpartum rooms and eight labor and delivery rooms, the new hospital’s obstetrics department is vastly improved over what was previously available, said Debbie Jenkins, nurse manager.

The $268 million hospital replaces Western Maryland Health Systems’ Memorial and Braddock campuses, which closed permanently on Saturday.

“We have a separate special care nursery that offers the families privacy and an area that our neonatologist needs to take care of sicker babies,” Jenkins said. “We have an isolation nursery that we didn’t have before. ...We have new equipment. We have a lot of good benefits.”

On Monday, the obstetrics department, typically filled with crying newborns and their mothers, was oddly quiet and mostly empty.

“It’s not going to stay that way for long, that’s for sure,” said Jenkins, adding that around 1,200 babies a year are born in Allegany County hospitals.

Sarah and Daniel were Nos. 1,000 and 1,001 this year.

For the new regional medical center, Sarah is No. 1 (born at 12:51 a.m.) and Daniel is No. 2 (born at 12:53 a.m.)

Their mom, Stephanie Emerick, who remains hospitalized with the twins, expects to go home with them Wednesday or Thursday.

“They’re still not quite eating the way they want them to,” Stephanie said. “I could go home now, but I won’t leave them.”

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