At Sacramento’s venerable “baby hospital,” the final Mothers Day required some closing fanfare Sunday.
This summer Sutter Memorial Hospital, opened in East Sacramento in 1937, is shutting down.
Beginning Aug. 8, Sutter will open a new, 10-story Women’s and Children’s Center in downtown Sacramento – a 242-bed hospital wing that will provide neonatal and pediatric intensive care, pediatric cardiac care, pediatric neurosurgery and birthing services, including private rooms for new moms.
But Sunday was a celebration of the old. It was a day for hospital staffers to brings gift baskets of picture frames, bath soaps and herbal teas to moms giving birth on the calendar’s most maternal of days.
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Megan Nicoll, who delivered a 6-pound, 14-ounce baby girl, at 4:48 a.m. Sunday, found herself in relaxed bliss at midday. As she cradled newborn Charlotte Ann, her third child, a musical duo played in the hallway just outside her room, offering soothing melodies for Megan and all the moms.
“It is my first and last delivery here,” said Nicoll, who moved to Sacramento a year ago. “Everybody seems real excited about the new hospital. And they delivered my perfectly healthy baby girl – so I’m very happy.”
By the afternoon, there had been three births on Mother’s Day, with 11 moms-to-be still in labor. Since 1937, the hospital has delivered nearly 350,000 babies since it opened as Sutter Maternity Hospital.
The last delivery there is expected Aug. 8, the same day that the first birth is expected at the new Anderson Lucchetti Women’s and Children’s Center, said hospital spokesman Gary Zavoral.
Sutter Memorial’s cardiac services will be consolidated at the current Sutter General Hospital. The new flagship hospital, part of a $750 million expansion and renovation in the multibuilding campus bordered by K Street and Capitol Avenue between 28th and 29th streets, will be known as Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento.
On the last Mothers Day at the old hospital, flutist Mark Tulga and guitarist Tom Philips serenaded the new moms at the old facility as they have on every Mothers Day for the past 15 years. They played, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” from “The Lion King” and “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin.” They even worked in “Somewhere (A Place For Us)” from “West Side Story.”
Next Mother’s Day, that somewhere will be at the new Sutter Medical Center, downtown.