A Connellsville family welcomed the first baby of the new year at the Uniontown Hospital.
Lucas Allen Earl Nicklow made his appearance in the world at 8:42 a.m. on Jan. 1 in the hospital’s Family Beginnings Birthing Center, a surprise to his parents, Christina Miller, 25, and Philip Nicklow, 35, as the baby arrived two weeks before his due date.
“At first, I didn’t think I was in labor but I knew something was wrong. My mom brought me to the hospital and, by the time we got here, I was ready to push,’’ said Miller.
The New Year’s birth date enhanced the celebration of an addition to the family.
“It was kind of exciting,’’ said Miller, who noted her mother, Karen Miller, also of Connellsville, is calling Lucas her “New Year’s baby’’ and was happy to see the gifts given by Uniontown Hospital to the first baby of the new year, including a car seat and diapers.
The family had also decided not to learn the sex of their baby before he was born, further adding to the occasion.
“We didn’t know what he was going to be until he came,’’ said Miller. “We wanted to be surprised.’’
Lucas weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 inches long at birth. He is Miller’s fifth child, joining siblings Roger, 7; Kylia, 3; and twins Milanie and Philip Jr., 1.
“All my kids have my nose but that’s all he has of mine. Lucas looks so much like his dad,’’ said Miller.
Kylia and the twins visited their younger brother in the hospital.
Miller noted Kylia wanted another sister but said “she’s excited about her brother.’’
The baby’s name Lucas was suggested by Miller’s sister, Sarah Giles, of Connellsville, but his two middle names honor family. Allen is for Nicklow’s stepfather, Mark Allen Knox, who passed away a year ago.
“He was always there for me and my kids. We said whatever we had — girl or boy — we were going to incorporate his name,’’ Miller said.
Earl is for Miller’s stepfather, Donnie Earl Johnson.
“My kids love him,’’ Miller said of Johnson.
Miller and Lucas were scheduled to be discharged Jan. 3, with Miller anxious for them to be home with her other children.
But Miller said she had a good experience at Uniontown Hospital where all five of her babies were born.
“It seems every time we have a baby, it’s better,’’ said Miller. “The hospital keeps getting better and better.’’
About 1,000 babies are born in Uniontown Hospital every year.
Josh Krysak, director of community relations for Uniontown Hospital, said, “Each year we anticipate all the good things a new year will hold for all of us and what a blessing for this family that they were able to welcome a baby in those first hours of 2018. As a hospital, we wish them a lifetime of health and are proud to have been the place where new life in a new year began for this child.”