A pleasant surprise
SAYRE - Having birthed three babies previous to Todd Alexander Hollenbeck, Lockwood, N.Y. resident Sarah Hollenbeck said she is taken aback by the attention her son is receiving since being the first born child of 2014 at the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.
Accompanied by her sister, Angel King, and husband, Chip Hollenbeck, Sarah gave birth to the healthy child at 3:39 a.m. on New Year's Day. Todd weighed 9 lbs 13 oz and measured 22 inches long, the hospital said, leading Sarah to jokingly refer to him as "big guy."
"Everything went well and the birth was good," Sarah said, "but I never would have guessed he would get this much attention."
Shortly after the birth, Sarah said Todd was showered with a huge gift basket from Guthrie for being the first child of the year.
"It had clothes and toys; it was huge," she explained. "It was like Christmas for the baby."
She said her newborn son also received a fruit basket from the hospital's cafeteria.
A shred of luck did play a part in Todd being the first born, as Sarah explained there were multiple patients in labor at the same time as her, and some were even induced before she was.
King said she was very excited to see her sister give birth to her nephew.
"It was pretty cool; she let me be in the room to see my celebrity nephew being born," she said with a smile.
And it wasn't just gifts, but attention from across the community spectrum - media outlets, doctors from separate departments and curious nurses were all part of the celebration.
Sarah said she and Todd are expected to be released from the hospital on Saturday morning. The family discussed making the purchase of a "2014" onesie after leaving the hospital.
While being interviewed by The Daily Review Friday night, a nurse knocked at the Hollenbeck's room and announced another donation had been received to honor the special child.
Bradford County Alternate Dairy Princess Brooke Ostrander entered the room to present a gift basket to the child. The basket contained an assortment of items including pasta and, of course, the long-time dairy princess candy of choice, Cow Tales.
Coincidentally, Chip's father is a dairy farmer.
The Bradford County Dairy Promotion Board has made a yearly tradition out of presenting a gift to the first born child in Bradford County each year.
Todd's father joked that it took less than 48 hours for his child to be held by a princess, a feat not many get to accomplish.
Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.