La Grande's first baby of the New Year is a Baker County boy

January 03, 2002 11:00 pm
Beth and Matt Shirtcliff thought they had another three weeks to prepare their home for their first child. Spencer Charles Shirtcliff had other plans, however, and made his mark as the first baby born at Grande Ronde Hospital in 2002. (The (La Grande) Observer photograph by Phil Bullock).
Beth and Matt Shirtcliff thought they had another three weeks to prepare their home for their first child. Spencer Charles Shirtcliff had other plans, however, and made his mark as the first baby born at Grande Ronde Hospital in 2002. (The (La Grande) Observer photograph by Phil Bullock).

By T.L. PETERSEN

Of The (La Grande) Observer

LA GRANDE Beth and Matt Shirtcliff thought they had plenty of time to finish up the new babys room and take care of all those little details involved in adding a baby to a household.

They had three weeks to go, after all, and I expected it to go late, Beth Shirtcliff said. First babies usually do, shed learned from others.

Hers didnt.

The Baker City couple had spent a relaxed New Years Day at home. Matt Shirtcliff, Baker Countys district attorney, had gone chukar hunting in the morning and then spent time with his wife watching football.

Beth Shirtcliff, a bookkeeper for Wilson Cattle Co. of North Powder, was doing lots of little things as she tried to stay as comfortable as possible.

She remembers having some pain, but again, thought it was normal and just part of her last weeks of pregnancy.

Then, just at the end of the first day of the year, the baby let his parents know he was ready to make his entrance.

Matt and Beth didnt even have a bag packed to take to the hospital, but off they went to Grande Ronde Hospital, at midnight.

Spencer Charles Shirtcliff, the couples first child and the first baby born at the La Grande hospital in 2002, was delivered by Dr. Milo Hibbert of La Grande at 5:17 a.m. Wednesday. He weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces and a fraction.

With his early arrival, there wasnt the anticipated welcoming committee, Beth Shirtcliff said, because both sets of grandparents live in the Roseburg area and were planning a trip near the end of the month.

As for being the first baby of Grande Ronde Hospitals new year, that was totally not even expected, Shirtcliff said.

But the new mother is more than ready to welcome Spencer Charles. They were heading home to Baker City Friday.

Oh, my gosh, hes so cute, she said Thursday. And Shirtcliff adds that she is feeling good, too.