Erickson, like other medical professionals who deliver babies, receives a lot of night and holiday calls. "Since I have been 'on call' for so many years, it feels normal to have a full tank of gas, packed birthing bags, and contingency plans in place for my family," says Erickson. "My husband's support has allowed me to leave my family spontaneously and without guilt. Missing holidays can be tough, but once I'm at a birthing, I leave my sadness at the door. What could be more holy than witnessing a birth? Each birth is a holiday! It is a gift to be included in such a blessed event in a family's life."
As for New Year's babies, during her 14 years as a midwife, Erickson has seen many, but recalls one in particular. "I remember one year, a baby was due in mid-December and by the 31st, it was getting pretty ripe on the vine," she says. "There was extra pressure because it was December 1999, and the mysteries of Y2K were present. Several hours later, this new mom gracefully birthed her baby into the world. We called the newspaper to inform them of the event, but another baby had entered the world before hers did. The birth did get mentioned in the local paper though. Again no prizes for the family, except a sweet babe in arms."
Most small towns or cities have treasures to bestow upon the first baby of the New Year. Susan Kraemer of Blomkest, Minnesota, was one of those who didn't care if she won any New Year's prizes. Her precious baby boy, Christopher, was all she and her husband needed to feel like they'd been given a wonderful gift on New Year's Day, 2000.
"People often suspect us of trying to have a millennium baby," Kraemer says. "Actually, we would have preferred a December birth for tax purposes and for the simple reason that all of the birthdays in our family would be ordered one per month, from April to the end of the year!"