LIMA — On the counter of Kyle Reardon and fiancée Justine Bettinger’s house in Piqua, a celebratory drink still sits.
While Reardon was preparing to drink it to celebrate the new year, circumstances forced him to give up that celebration for one even greater, as Bettinger delivered the region’s first baby of 2017 at St. Rita’s Medical Center.
Aiden Scott Reardon was born at 8:28 a.m. Jan. 1, 2017, the first child for both Bettinger and Reardon. Welcoming their son to the world was a little surprising for both parents, as that was not in the original plans for the day.
“I was not expecting it,” Bettinger, 30, said. “He decided to come early. (He was due) Jan. 6.”
Lima Memorial Health System had a birth just before noon Sunday, but it happened after Reardon’s birth. Neither Bluffton Hospital nor Van Wert County Hospital had any births on Sunday morning.
Reardon, 30, who works with his parents at a screen printing business in Piqua, was fully expecting to welcome in the new year with a drink, but when his fiancée came to him saying she was not feeling well, he had a feeling that drink would have to wait.
“We drove up here at 2 in the morning and got here a little after 3,” he said. “I was worried that, being New Year’s Eve night at 2 in the morning, that I would get pulled over. We saw someone pulled over on an off ramp while we were coming up.”
While the couple could have conceivably gone to other hospitals in the Piqua area for the birth, Bettinger wanted to have the baby at St. Rita’s, a place where she is very familiar, being employed as a nurse in the neuroscience unit.
“I know the doctors; I know the people, so it’s nice to have it done here,” she said.
Reardon added, “Actually, the first nurse that she had was someone she did orientation with, so that helped make her feel comfortable.”
Less than six hours later, the couple welcomed their healthy, 6-pound, 14-ounce, 20-inch-long baby boy. While the date of his birth was somewhat surprising, the couple already knew what to expect.
“We knew we were having a boy,” Bettinger said.
And while that drink may still be waiting, the celebration continued for the new family in St. Rita’s’ mother/baby unit.
“It’s quite the way to ring in 2017,” Bettinger said.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.