The race was on, between Room 9 and Room 3 at the labor and delivery department of Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, to see who would have the first York County baby of 2011. The morning hours churned by, then noon. All the ones in the date - 1/1/11, were on the minds of everybody.
"We even thought about 1:11, the time," said "Nurse Patti," Patricia Clapp. Nurse Patti is the mother of nine children: She has delivered hundreds of babies in 40 years of nursing. At PMC labor and delivery, Nurse Patti is the Queen of England in scrubs.
"I know a little bit about babies," understated Nurse Patti. "We wanted to be first."
Time was on the minds of all except the mom in Room 3, who had other concerns a bit more pressing. In Room 3 was Elizabeth Boyd from western York County, ready to do the hard work and deliver her third child.
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Also in Room 3 was James Boyd, the husband and father, whose job was to worry. He performed his duties heroically.
Room 3 had the doctor, Greg Miller, who had delivered the previous two Boyd children, Caleb and Grace, in the past four-plus years.
"Patti has been with us for all of them, and doctor Greg, too," said Beverly Painter, Elizabeth Boyd's mother. "We all thought it would be fun to be first."
Yet babies come when babies are ready to come.
Finally, the checkered flag was waved. In Room 3 on Jan. 1, Madison Leigh Boyd, all girl, arrived. She was 7 pounds 7 ounces, 20 and three-quarters inches long.
"Beautiful," said Elizabeth Boyd, the mother, who did all the work and knows beautiful when she sees it.
"A beautiful blessing for which we give thanks to the Lord," said James Boyd, the father, who did so much of the worrying.
Madison arrived with a wail at 1:01 p.m. 1:01, on 1-1-11.
"We were trying for 1:11, to make it all ones," said James Boyd, "But what's one zero thrown in there? No biggie. It's all great."
Madison declined to give a statement to her first news conference. She ate a bit, then smiled at her dad. James Boyd melted, as all fathers do at that first smile and all smiles after.
Then down the hall, at 2:33 p.m., the baby was born in Room 9.
An hour and 32 minutes after Madison Leigh Boyd, who will forever be known as the baby born at 1:01 on 1-1-11. Maybe 10 minutes too early to be all "ones." But as her tired mother said, "Madison was right on time."