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COOS BAY— The first Coos County baby of 2018 was born at 4:46 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Bay Area Hospital.

Baby Carpenter doesn’t have a first name just yet, but his parents are trying to decide between Henry or name him after his father, Johnathan Carpenter.

“I knew my due date was going to be on the first of the year, but usually you get induced a week early,” said mother Lauren Ham. “The hospital was so full, that didn’t happen. I had the baby on New Year’s instead. I’m just surprised we’re the only ones here having a baby.”

Ham arrived at Bay Area Hospital at 7:30 a.m. on Monday and she endured nearly 24 hours of labor before Baby Carpenter arrived.

“This is my fourth baby,” she said. “The oldest is 12.”

Both Ham and Baby Carpenter are healthy and expected to return home on Thursday.

Ham and Carpenter received a gift basket from Bay Area Hospital’s volunteer auxiliary, a tradition that goes back as far as 32 years.

“We do this for the first baby of the year,” said volunteer Virginia Stackpole. “It’s all the things volunteers at the hospital have donated, including blankets, toys, T-shirts, diapers, and homemade quilts.”

Ham was surprised by the basket, but said it will help.

Aside from celebrating the first baby of 2018, Ham will also get help from the hospital’s Mom’s Program.

“They do home visits and help with breastfeeding,” Ham said. “They help you before you leave the hospital and check up on you at home.”

The hospital also gifted Ham and Carpenter a baby box, something that will now be given to any newborn delivered at Bay Area Hospital.  

“This box promotes a safe sleeping environment for babies, educating parents not to co-sleep with infants, that babies need to be in an environment without pillows or stuffed animals or bumper pads,” said hospital day shift charge nurse, Denise Partney. “Babies should be swaddled in a single blanket and placed in an environment without anything else.”

As for the first baby, the delivery saw some complications.

“His heart rate kept going down, but we’re both doing good now,” Ham said.

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.