His own sweet time

William Rowan interrupts New Year's Eve lunch date to become valley's first baby of 2013
Michelle Rowan holds the Rogue Valley's first baby born in the year 2013 her grandson William Remington Rowan at Providence Hospital. Mail Tribune / Bob PennellBob Pennell

The first baby born in Jackson County in 2013 took his time arriving.

William Remington Rowan arrived at 1:52 p.m. at Providence Medical Center and spent the afternoon resting with his exhausted mother, according to the child's grandmother, Michelle Rowan.

The family lives in Eagle Point and was ready to head to Porters in Medford for a New Year's Eve meal when young William made his presence felt.

"We were getting ready to leave for Porters when my daughter said that her water broke," Michelle Rowan said.

Ashley Rowan, 20, was rushed to the hospital, where she remained throughout the night and a good portion of New Year's Day.

It was a long labor that saw Ashley forgo any form of medication that could have quieted the pain, Michelle Rowan said.

"It was her choice not to take any medications," she said. "She wanted a clean pregnancy and a clean birth."

The labor was helped along by a group of volunteer doulas who work with Providence's birthing center.

A doula is trained to provide mothers with emotional and physical support throughout their pregnancies. They assist the mother with position changes, relaxing techniques and breathing guidance during labor.

"The doulas job is to enrich the mother's experience," said Providence spokeswoman Vicki Chamberlain.

In addition, the doulas serve as advocates for the mother's wishes, which could include Ashley's desire not to receive any pain medications during the birth of her baby.

The hospital has 12 volunteer doulas on call, and they work at no charge to the mother.

The hospital gifted William — who arrived at 6 pound, 3 ounces — with a basket of goodies given to the baby that rings in the new year.

The basket was loaded with diapers, toys, first aid materials and a book.

The book comes from a partnership between the hospital and the Jackson County library system. The mother is given the opportunity to read to the child, which can help in auditory development, Chamberlain said.

"It's never too early to get your child on a literacy program," Chamberlain said.

The arrival of William capped a long 20 hours for the Rowan family.

Michelle Rowan was still wearing a bedazzled New Year's Even shirt at the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

"It's quite a way to start the New Year," she said. "I wouldn't have it any other way."

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email cconrad@mailtribune.com.



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