The time was the last thing on Anne Bean’s mind as she delivered her sixth child at Salem Hospital on New Year’s Eve.
“I looked at the clock afterwards, there were fireworks going off and it was like, ‘Oh, wow, that was actually really close to midnight,” she said.
Three minutes after it, in fact. Natalie arrived at 12:03 a.m., making her the first baby delivered at the hospital in 2023. She was 8 pounds, 10 ounces.
“I didn’t really know that a New Year’s baby was a thing, but my due date was New Year’s Eve so people had mentioned it throughout my pregnancy,” Bean said.
She said her husband, Scott, was paying closer attention to the time.
“At 11:59, her head was part way out, they could see dark hair, and he thought ‘Oh, she’s going to be born this year,’” she said. “And then I didn’t get her out on that push and he said ‘Okay she can be born next year.’”
Their oldest daughter, 15-year-old Mackenzie, was present for the birth and their children Caitlyn, Daniel, Josie and Lauren met the new baby the next day.
Bean’s father was present for the birth, and has taken photos of each new arrival to the family.
“One of my favorite things he does is capture the siblings meeting the new baby, because that’s one of the sweetest parts for me, to see those new relationships start,” she said.
The family lives in west Salem, where Anne homeschools their children and Scott works as a family medicine doctor.
Natalie brings their family total to five girls, one boy and a puppy.
“I have some strong personalities in the family. We have a lot of fun, but our house is always a little bit crazy,” she said. “Natalie, she definitely has a big voice and I get a lot of comments from nurses on that. ‘She’s going to need that voice so she doesn’t get lost.’”
To commemorate the birth, Bean said the hospital gave them a basket with a specially made blanket, embroidered with ‘first baby of 2023.’ The hospital’s Facebook post received over 300 likes and a dozen comments as of Wednesday.
“I think it’s really sweet that everyone cares about the first baby of the year,” Bean said.
Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.
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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.