Jennifer Ainsworth had been in labor for at least nine hours, but as the final seconds of 2014 ticked away Wednesday night, her husband and obstetrician quietly cheered for the baby to wait just a little longer.
Mason Christopher Ainsworth stayed put until 12:01 a.m., when he became Mecklenburg County’s first baby of 2015.
“At that point, I didn’t really care,” Ainsworth said. “I was done.”
She and her husband, David, had arrived at Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center about 3 p.m. Wednesday, ready to welcome their fourth child.
Mason weighed 8 pounds and measured 18 inches long, with “a ton of black hair,” said Jennifer Ainsworth, a stay-at-home mother. David Ainsworth manages a car dealership in Salisbury. The family lives in Huntersville.
The baby met his siblings, Logan, 14, Haley, 12, and Tyler, 8, who arrived at the hospital about 1 a.m. with their grandmother, from Greenville, S.C.
“The kids all wanted a boy,” Jennifer Ainsworth said. “My daughter, Haley, she wanted to be the only girl. She was thrilled with another brother.”
Ainsworth’s obstetrician, Dr. Cary Fishburne of Novant Health Huntersville Obstetrics and Gynecology, presented the couple with the hospital’s gift basket, including a teddy bear wearing a “Happy New Year” hat, two picture frames, a blanket and a white newborn-size gown.
“It’s not something I was expecting,” said Jennifer Ainsworth, whose due date was Jan. 7. “But it’s very exciting. It’s something different.”
At least two other Mecklenburg babies were born during the first hour of 2015. They include a son born to Amy and Matt Hayes of Rock Hill, at 12:21 a.m. at Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville; and Ellie Grace Candela, daughter of Jennifer and Jason Candela of Waxhaw, born at 12:49 a.m. at Carolinas Medical Center.
The first baby at CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia arrived at 12:42 a.m. His name is Papa Yaw Essilfie Yeboah, son of Irene Cato of Gastonia and Martin Yeboah of Ghana, Africa.