Whitnni Violet Stromberg of Sykesville is Carroll County’s first baby … – Baltimore Sun

Whitnni Violet Stromberg wasn’t scheduled to come into the world until Jan. 17, but the 5-pound, 10-ounce bundle of joy made her debut on Sunday, as the first baby born at Westminster’s Carroll Hospital in 2023.

Heather Jourdain of Sykesville gave birth to the first baby born for the new year in Carroll County. Whitnni Violet was born at 1:34 a.m. January 1, 2023 at Carroll Hospital Center and is photographed in her father's arms, Keith Stromberg.

Whitnni’s mother, Heather Jourdain, 38, of Sykesville, was originally told her due date would be Jan. 24, then doctors scheduled her for an induction on Jan. 17, due to her pregnancy being considered high-risk.

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Regardless, no one predicted Whittni’s actual birth date of Jan. 1.

“We were totally not prepared,” Jourdain said. “We didn’t even have our bag packed. My water broke at 10:34 Saturday morning, and I was totally in shock. We were literally in the middle of making our New Year’s Eve plans.”

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Jourdain said Whitnni’s birth is extra special since it follows a difficult time for the family. Jourdain and her fiancee, Keith Stromberg, 37, have a 3-year-old son, Raiden Lewis, but Jourdain suffered four miscarriages before becoming pregnant with Whitnni.

“She is a miracle baby,” Jourdain said. “We’ve dealt with so much loss and heartbreak. To have a live birth was incredible.”

Jourdain said she wanted to discuss her pregnancy journey to help others understand the importance of having “faith and hope.”

Jourdain never imagined she would be celebrating New Year’s Eve in the hospital.

“I started having contractions, but I could not feel them, so they slowly [induced] me more,” she said. “I got an epidural, and the contractions got stronger and stronger. I felt pressure, and I told Keith ‘something felt different.’”

Since Jourdain’s regular doctor was not on call on New Year’s Eve, a midwife delivered the baby.

“All of a sudden the midwife came in, and nurses came in, and I got really scared,” she said. “I started crying, and I got really scared. Keith held my hand, and he never took his eyes off me.”

Jourdain said a prayer, and with determination she pushed twice, and Whitnni was born at 1:34 a.m., New Year’s Day.

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Heather Jourdain of Sykesville gave birth to the first baby born for the new year in Carroll County. Whitnni Violet Stromberg was born at 1:34 am January 1, 2023 at Carroll Hospital Center and is photographed with her father, Keith Stromberg, mother, Heather, big brother, Raiden Stromberg, 3, and their Morkie, Ben.

“It was so peaceful,” she said. “I bonded with her, and Keith was incredible. … Keith asked, ‘Are we the New Year’s baby?’ and it turned into a birthday party. It was just so cool. The whole thing was kind of shocking. She’s already a celebrity.”

The family was given two $25 Amazon gift cards by the couple who delivered the first baby of 2022.

“I felt connected to them,” Jourdain said. “It had a little note with it. It was just so cool.”

The couple plans to pay it forward, and next year give gift cards to the family of the first baby of 2024.

Jourdain and Stromberg are also celebrating another milestone in their life story this holiday season. They got engaged on Christmas Day.

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“My social media just blew up,” Jourdain said. “Especially everybody knowing we got engaged on Christmas.”

The family also includes 7-year-old dog Bentley Alan, a Morkie who shares a January birthday with his new little sister.

Carroll Hospital was thrilled to welcome the first baby of 2023 so close to midnight, according to Sue Hoffman, clinical manager of Carroll Hospital’s Family Birthplace.

“Some years it has taken much longer [for] the first baby of the year to arrive,” she said. “The excitement is always palpable with any delivery, but especially when it is the first of the year. Everyone was so excited to be a part of this birth.”

Carroll Hospital had 1,023 baby deliveries last year, about 10 more than in 2021, Hoffman noted.

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