New Year’s Baby arrives!

New Prague’s New Year’s baby for 2013, Jameson Reid Stidger, is pictured with his family. Left to right are sister Annalee Stidger, 7; mother Gabrielle Persson (holding Jameson); father Rick Stidger; brother Ashton Stidger, 4; and sister Alivia Stidger, 9. (Chuck Kajer Photo)

When Rick Stidger saw Patrick Fisher, staff writer for The New Prague Times, at an event this fall, he joked that he would be getting interviewed come January for the New Year’s Baby Story.

Good call!

Stidger and Gabrielle Persson are parents of Jameson Reid Stidger, born at 2:19 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2. He weighed 7 lb., 8 oz. and was 19-1/4 inches long. He is the first child born in 2013 at Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague.

“I joked with Gabrielle that either we’d have a tax deduction or the New Year’s baby,” said Stidger, who has three older children.

This is the first child for Gabrielle, who said she wasn’t as sure as Rick about having the New Year’s Baby.

“The due date was December 31, but I was sure it wasn’t going to happen for a long time…” she said. “Maybe another week. I was surprised when I went into labor on New Year’s morning.”

Gabrielle and Rick arrived at the hospital about 10:45 a.m. Dr. Mark Berg delivered young Jameson. Stidger said he was very impressed with Berg and with the staff at the New Prague hospital, including the delivery nurses and all of the staff who helped care for them during their stay.

“It was all top-notch care,” he said. “The staff was impeccable at Mayo.”

Stidger, a former professional photographer, said he would have liked to have had a camera with him to capture the moment after Jameson was born and placed on his mother’s chest.

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the look on her face… it would have taken more like a million words,” he said.

Asked to describe her feelings at that moment, Gabrielle said she didn’t think there were any words to describe it.

“Pure joy?” she was asked. “Yeah, that’s it.”

As parents of the New Year’s Baby, Rick and Gabrielle receive a gift package from The New Prague Times and 12 other sponsors of the New Year’s Baby Contest.

LeeAnn Ruehling of New Prague won the contest to guess the date of the arrival of the New Year’s Baby. She guessed January 2, 2:06 a.m., and 6 pounds, 6 ounces. She wins a $100 gift certificate to be used at one of the participating sponsors. She placed her entry at West End Liquors. The second place winner is Dan Prchal of Montgomery, who guessed January 2, 2:00 a.m., and 8 pounds, 3 ounces. He wins a $50 certificate.