By Elaine Sanchez, Army MedicineJanuary 2, 2014
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Jan. 2, 2014) -- As fireworks lit up the sky over downtown San Antonio, an Army couple rang in the New Year with a new addition to their family at San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Born at 12:03 a.m., Jan. 1, the birth of Zane Huesca Rodriguez not only marked the first baby of the year for Brooke Army Medical Center, or BAMC, but also the first of the year for San Antonio.
Proud parents Sgt. 1st Class Alfonso Rodriguez of the Army National Guard and his wife, Larabeth, called the first baby news "surreal."
"When the nurses let us know we were the first in the city, we couldn't believe it; we were in shock," said Larabeth, while holding her sleepy 7-pound, 15-ounce son in BAMC's Labor, Delivery and Recovery ward.
Just hours earlier, the couple had been sightseeing downtown with their other two children and Larabeth's cousin. They had just left the Alamo and were on a boat ride on the Riverwalk when the contractions first hit.
"We walked around for a while and then figured it was time to come here," said Larabeth, noting that New Year's Eve was her original due date.
With a potential delivery at hand, the Labor and Delivery staff grew excited as midnight, and the possibility of a first baby, drew near. Shortly after 12, when they heard the good news, cheers and shouts erupted in the hall.
"We were so excited for the parents and their beautiful baby," said Capt. Susan Holmen, a Labor and Delivery resident, who was accompanied by staff physician Air Force Lt. Col. Deirdre McCullough and Capt. Diana Villa-Zanakretzer, a chief resident for OB/Gyn. "The delivery was a team effort and everyone did a fantastic job."
Along with the title of San Antonio's first baby of 2014, the Rodriguez family also received an abundance of gifts from local hospitals and other organizations, including a $10,000 scholarship to the University of the Incarnate Word, a car seat, gift cards, a baby blanket and gift baskets.
"All we did was have a kid, and my beautiful wife did all of the work," proud dad Alfonso said with a smile. "This is all very surreal."
"I'm just happy we have a beautiful, healthy baby boy," he added, "and I'm very grateful for the amazing staff here."
BAMC opened its Labor, Delivery and Recovery ward on Sept. 6, 2011, after assuming the inpatient mission from then-Wilford Hall Medical Center. BAMC welcomed nearly 1,700 babies in 2013, and more than 3,600, since 2011.
The Labor, Delivery and Recovery ward has risen to the top in just a few years. It's now rated as the No. 1 L&D ward in the Department of Defense for inpatient satisfaction. Additionally, BAMC's inpatient services are rated among the top 25 percent in the nation for customer satisfaction.