Iyshiah Lacey felt the contractions coming every three minutes Friday night, so she rushed to Sutter Memorial Hospital expecting to give birth.
The staff there, however, was preparing to vacate the venerable 77-year-old facility, which had delivered nearly 350,000 babies over the years, and move to a new building the next day. When the 25-year-old arrived, the nurses took her in, and like that, she became a part of history, as the last mother to give birth at Sutter Memorial.
“I heard about it, but I didn’t know it was going to happen” that night, Lacey said of the hospital’s closure during a press conference Sunday to celebrate the birth of her son, Josiah DeAndre Jordan.
Baby Jordan slept through the entire event, not once opening his eyes. At one point, while Lacey moved him slightly so TV cameras could get a better shot, the baby briefly scowled. Josiah weighed in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces when he was born at 1:46 a.m. Saturday.
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Sutter Memorial Hospital opened in 1937 as the first air-conditioned hospital west of the Mississippi River, then went on to deliver 348,089 babies.
Originally, Sutter representatives had scheduled a joint press conference for Josiah and the first baby born at the new midtown facility. However, the new hospital’s first baby had to be placed in neonatal intensive care, according to Sutter spokesman Gary Zavoral.
Thirty-one babies have already been born at the midtown facility, which beats the average of 15 a day at the old hospital, said William Gilbert, Sutter’s regional medical director for women’s services. Hospital officials joked that there was a push by expectant mothers to be one of the last or first ones to give birth at the respective hospitals.
“I feel really special,” Lacey said.
Josiah is her fourth child. Her other three children were also born at Sutter Memorial.