SARASOTA (Jan. 1, 2020) – Sarasota Memorial Hospital celebrated the start of a new decade and welcomed the first baby of the 2020 New Year a mere second after midnight.
A’Lani Rock was born at 12:00:01 am on Jan. 1, the first baby born in 2020 at SMH, and beyond. Her mother, Geurtsie Rock, had been laboring for nearly eight hours on New Year’s Eve before delivering her eighth child as the ball was dropping in New York’s Times Square.
Although intent on the birth of their daughter, she and husband D’Marus Rock could not miss the excitement of her labor and delivery team and the festivities unfolding on the television in her delivery suite.
“We really weren’t expecting a New Year’s baby, but just as the ball dropped, she was coming out,” Geurtsie said.
After the birth, the family from Parrish, Fla., celebrated with the delivery team and shared the exciting news during a call with the baby’s seven siblings, ages 5 to 20, who were staying with their grandparents that night.
“Everyone was really excited,” D’Marus said. “We usually spend time as a family on New Year’s Eve. This year, we were at the hospital, but are celebrating a new addition to our family.”
A’Lani, who was about 2 weeks shy of her due date, is a happy, healthy newborn. She weighed 4 pounds, 9 ounces and was 18 inches at her debut.
The delivery team included nurse midwife Tonya Fenzl, with coverage from obstetrician Michelle Stoltzman, MD, and labor & delivery nurses Courtney Wilson and Renee Dettling.
The Rocks were among 10 families caught up in the excitement of New Year’s Eve deliveries at SMH. The only hospital that delivers babies in Sarasota County, SMH’s obstetric team helped deliver 11 babies on Dec. 31, including a set of twins.
The last baby born at SMH in 2019 arrived at 8:03 pm Dec. 31 – bringing the year’s total babies delivered at the hospital last year to more than 4,100. Sarasota Memorial nurses celebrated each New Year’s birth with festive hats and horns.
After the Rock family had a chance to rest and recover, SMH’s mother-baby team nurses presented them with a special New Year’s baby basket filled with gifts for the new baby.
About Sarasota Memorial Health Care System
Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Its flagship 839-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best, with superior patient outcomes and comprehensive network of outpatient. SMH is the only hospital in Sarasota County that offers maternity and pediatric care, and this year delivered more than 4,100 babies.