Wess and Lacey Cope expected their fourth boy to be born right on schedule Wednesday – on what will be Lacey’s 36th birthday.
Finn Sullivan Cope had other plans.
He became one of at least nine Charlotte “eclipse babies” after he was delivered Monday by C-section at 4:02 p.m. at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center – two at Novant and seven at Carolinas Medical Center. The partial eclipse officially lasted in Charlotte from 1:12 p.m. to 4:04 p.m., with the peak at 2:41 p.m.
At about 7:45 a.m. Monday, Lacey’s water broke in the family’s home in Clover, S.C. Wess had driven their three other sons to Crowders Creek Elementary School and was already back home.
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By 8:30 a.m. the couple hit the road for Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center.
Having experienced three other deliveries, they remained calm along the way. Lacey even let her husband stop at the Chick-fil-A at Rivergate in Charlotte’s Steele Creek section for his favorite chicken nuggets, hash browns and sweet tea.
“She was relaxed, and I was starving,” Wess Cope, 37, recalled at the hospital shortly before 6 p.m. Monday. “If you want Chick-fil-A to move fast, tell them your wife’s in labor. They did.”
The delivery went smoothly, the couple said. Finn even opened his eyes when dad FaceTimed from the recovery room with their other sons back home. The boys made lots of happy noise, prompting their new brother to open his eyes for a spell, which Wess Cope caught on camera.
Finn’s brothers – Ayden, 10; Parker, 8; and Tucker, 7 – have gone to their mom’s belly for months to chat with their brother. A quote from the “Star Wars” character Yoda hangs over Finn’s crib in his nursery at home: “Sleep You Must, Dream You Will.”
Presbyterian was packed Monday with expectant moms, but that’s typical this time of year, said Alisa Gibson, clinical unit leader for labor and delivery. It was unusual that each expectant mom who went to the hospital on Monday already had her water broken, she said, “but I don’t think it had anything to do with the eclipse.”
In Greenville, S.C., a couple named their baby after the event, although Eclipse Alizebeth Eubanks was born at 8:04 a.m. Monday, about five hours before the eclipse, Greenville TV station WSPA reported.
The Copes chose the name Finn after the “Star Wars” character and Sullivan for Sullivan’s Island in Charleston, S.C., where they were married.
Wess is chief technology officer at Metis Machine, which develops artificial intelligence software and is based in Charlottesville, Va. He is among the company’s founders. Lacey Cope has worked in marketing but has decided to be a full-time mom.
The couple encountered no traffic on their way to the hospital, “considering the craziness going on” with the eclipse, Wess said. “So now we just have to wait for what super power he develops, whether supersonic speed, flight, super strength. We’ll find out.”
“And he turned out just perfect,” Lacey said.
Quoting Spider-Man, she said: “So we just have to teach him that with great powers come great responsibility.”
Staff writer Mark Price contributed.