Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Brian and Kimberley Baker hold their newborn daughter, Lucy, as Sara, 4, and John, 2, get a look at their new sister. Looking on is grandmother Brenda Tyson. Lucy, who was born on Thursday, was the 100,000th baby delivered at Gwinnett Medical Center.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- Celebrating a major milestone at Gwinnett Medical Center's Women's Pavilion, everyone began to talk about family: the family of doctors, the community of nurses, the village of support for new mothers and babies.
And of course, the Baker family, who welcomed little Lucy into their fold Thursday, becoming the 100,000th baby born at the Lawrenceville facility.
Introducing the sleeping bundle of joy, born at 10:02 a.m. at 7 pounds, 8 ounces with a shock of dark hair, father Brian Baker said Friday he was overjoyed his daughter is the "face" of the hospital.
"It makes us real happy that Lucy ended up being such a milestone," the Lawrenceville stay-at-home dad said. "We really feel like a part of the community here."
Along with wife Kimberley, an engineer, Baker said the expectant parents did a lot of research and visited several hospitals before the birth of their first child, now 4-year-old Sara.
"Everything was clinical and cold" at other facilities, he said. But when they walked into the Gwinnett Medical Center Women's Pavilion, they were met by people coming out of a birthing class, laughing. Within minutes, they were talking to the instructor.
"We were three feet in the door and we were already being welcomed, and it hasn't stopped," he said. "Everyone that's here, you can just tell that they care."
From Sara's stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to the birth of now-2-year-old John and now Lucy's arrival, Brian and Kim said the nurses and doctors have helped put them at ease.
"All three of the surgeries have been fantastic," Brian said of the Cesarean births. "You never go in with any doubt that things are going to come out perfect (because of the confidence of the staff). That security is very helpful as a parent, when you are nervous and they are not."
Byron Dickerson, the doctor who delivered the baby, echoed Brian Baker's thoughts about the community feel at the hospital.
"We talk about people and individuals," he said. "It's a wonderful place to do this type of work."
Chief Nursing Officer Carol Danielson agreed, adding that the women's pavilion is a top priority for the hospital and, already up-to-date with the latest technology, is set to go through an expansion soon.
"It is very hard for me to believe we've actually delivered 100,000 babies," she said. "I guarantee every one of those has been a very special delivery to the doctors and nurses."
Since opening in April 1991, the hospital has averaged about 5,000 births a year, peaking with 6,332 babies delivered in 2008.
For the Bakers, the more important number for now is three, as they watch their older children welcome their new sister.
"They are in love. John likes to give her her pacie and Sara likes to hold her," Kim Baker said as the two rushed up to take baby Lucy's hands as she stirred in her sleep. "I don't know if she is going to be wild or not like her brother. ... It'll be interesting to see if she follows her sister's personality or her brother's, or her own."