Delayed birth, detour get Henry Gustafson National Baby Food Festival ‘first baby born’ award
FREMONT— Somehow, Henry Michael Gustafson knew that waiting one extra week to be born would get him his first prize of his very young life.
Born on July 20 at 7:51 a.m., Henry was awarded the National Baby Food Festival “First Baby Born” a few hours after his birth, which was originally due a little more than a week earlier.
Joshua Gustafson, Henry’s dad, said his son was descended and positioned for birth prior to his original due date of July 12, but then inexplicably made a small detour — and backed up.
“It’s like he decided he was in a nice comfortable place and wasn’t quite ready to be born yet, so he made a U-turn and went back up,” said Gustafson, the director of community health & wellness at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.
Gustafson said he had the easy job.
Wife and mom Sarah Gustafson, on the other hand, was at the hospital for more than 38 hours when he was finally ready to be delivered on July 20. Henry was positioned sideways, and at 8 pounds and 4 ounces with a head in the 94th percentile, a straightforward and relatively smooth delivery was going to be nearly impossible. Just about every OB/GYN and maternity nursing staff on duty that week was involved over the course of their 3 night stay at the hospital. And toward the end, when the medical team was preparing to get Henry out safely, Sarah was given one more chance to deliver him without alternate intervention. She was told that Henry needed to arrive now, and with every ounce of strength she had, she delivered him in that moment.
“That was pretty rough, but all we’re thinking right now is how blessed we are that Henry was born safely and in good health,” Sarah Gustafson, a rehab tech at Gerber Memorial, said. “I’m not going to lie. When you nearly pass out from pain and exhaustion, that’s not exactly a walk in the woods. But he’s a beautiful blessing to our family and we couldn’t be happier.”
The Gustafson's have a daughter, Noora, who’s 18 months old and thrilled to have a baby brother.
“Noora is a very social toddler, and I am sure she is going to enjoy having a baby brother to play with and maybe order around every once in a while, although she’s probably going to be disappointed by how little he’s going to listen to her for the first 12 months — maybe even 12 years,” Josh Gustafson said. “We can’t say enough great things about the Gerber Memorial staff who were involved in Henry’s birth. The doctors, midwives, nurses, locums, everyone just went above and beyond to make things extremely comfortable for our family so we could focus on helping Henry come into the world safely, healthy and happy. Our experience from prenatal care to discharge after delivery was once again second to none, and we couldn’t imagine having a baby anywhere else.”
The NBFF First Baby Born is awarded to the baby born closest to a random date and time selected during the four-day festival in Fremont. This year, the date and time was Thursday, July 19, at 10 a.m. Henry’s birth was closest to that day and time.
Henry’s award wasn’t the only thing the family went home with: The Gustafson's also got gifts from local businesses, including the OB/GYN and Delivery team at Gerber Memorial, Nestle Gerber Products, Chemical Bank, Joan & Company, Fairview Floral, Hands on Healing Massage & Spa, Gingerly Clean, and Liberty Jewelers.