MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- Little Jourdan Sheridan wanted to make sure that 2020 started off right for his mom Genita and dad Demetri, so he decided that he'd make his entry into the world within the first hour of the new year.
The physicians and nursing staff in the Labor and Delivery unit of Madigan Army Medical Center, on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., had to do some coaxing as the lad's birth was a slow endeavor.
"I salute every woman who ever gave birth," said Genita when she got to describing the back labor part of the birth. As things were progressing slowly, labor was induced. On the brink of calling off the efforts for a natural birth in favor of a caesarian section, the doctor did one more exam to see if things were ready.
Given that Genita had been in the midst of the process for two days already, it came as a bit of a surprise when the doctor told her it was time to push.
Working past the disbelief that it was actually time, Genita gave it her all and Jourdan quietly entered the world at 48 minutes past midnight on January 1.
His initial exams and vaccinations produced some solid vocalizations, proving he was healthy.
Healthy and beautiful. "I can't stop looking at him," marveled Genita.
He's the first baby for his 23-year-old parents who met here on base.
Demetri is a sergeant who is a unit supply specialist with the 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment and has been on JBLM since 2016; he is originally from North Carolina. Genita, a Baltimore, Md. native, left her time in the Army in artillery herself in November; she has been here since 2015.
They quickly became friends. But, Demetri, who had seen a photo of Genita on a friend's phone before meeting her, had already decided that he was interested in something more.
Hesitant at first to possibly risk a good friendship, Genita decided dating might be a good idea too. "This man really likes me," she said to herself, coming to the conclusion that that was to be prized.
All the typical milestones have fallen into place since then. A wedding in 2018, their first house, and now, Jourdan.
Their 1-year-old German shepherd and guinea pig got their family started. Genita is certain the dog will be beyond excited to meet the newest Sheridan. It takes just under eight pounds for Jourdan to round out the family perfectly.
Genita says they are ready to take things as they come and not have a lot of expectations for what their journey as new parents will be like. Jourdan will be who he is, after all.
"We've just got to do what we've got to do; all for him," concluded Genita.
Demetri is looking forward to seeing his son develop his own interests. He would love it if Jourdan took an interest in sports, like his dad. "Just something that he loves, so he can grow to enjoy it," said Demetri.
"I just want to support him," chimed in Genita. "I just want him to know we're there for him and he's loved."
Dad's family has been out to visit already and mom has had a video chat with her family.
As Genita holds Jourdan, she displays a natural comfort. As one of eight siblings, she says she's had a lot of practice. "I kind of took care of my younger ones," she explained.
Though Demetri has one brother who is just a year younger than he is, he has an ease with his son as well.
On January 1, a new family was born at Madigan. Watching the nurses of the Mother/Baby unit care for their patients with a distinct air of pride, it'd be hard to imagine a better way to ring in a new year than that.