He wasn't "due" until Jan. 17, but James Jerome Grotkowski surprised everyone by being the first baby born in the new year at St. Clair Hospital in Mt. Lebanon.
In his family, the baby is affectionately known as "J.J." He is the first child of Matt and Kary Grotkowski of Scott.
At 3:15 a.m. Jan. 1, Mrs. Grotkowski thought it might be time to make the trip to the nearby hospital, her husband said, and her doctor told the couple to go ahead.
Good thing it was a very short car ride, because the baby was born at the hospital at 4:48 a.m. He weighed 4 pounds, 13 ounces. Mother and son were both in great health and were expected to go home on Tuesday.
For the past year Mrs. Grotkowski, a registered nurse, has worked as a labor and delivery nurse at St. Clair Hospital's family birthing center.
Giving birth to her own baby "is different" than helping other women give birth to their babies," Mrs. Grotkowski said. She's seen a lot of newborn babies, and she's convinced that J.J. "is the cutest baby ever." He has blond hair, like both of his parents, and navy blue eyes.
Mrs. Grotkowski worked the day shift on New Year's Eve rather than taking time off because she wanted to spend all 12 weeks of her maternity leave with her baby.
Because J.J. was the first 2012 baby, the hospital presented the family with a gift basket that included a crocheted blanket, teddy bear and rattles.
St. Clair Hospital averages about 100 babies delivered each month.
Linda Wilson Fuoco: email@example.com or 412-722-0087. First Published January 5, 2012 5:00 AM