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First baby of 2019 comes as a surprise

Olivia Padovich got an early start in life, much to the surprise of her parents.

The Rogue Valley’s first baby of 2019 arrived at 1:29 a.m. Tuesday at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center — five weeks before her due date.

Although Olivia’s arrival was a bit premature, Grants Pass residents Chad and Maren Padovich said she followed a path blazed by three siblings — Jack, 10; Ryan, 8; and Emily, 7.

“They’ve all come progressively earlier,” said Chad Padovich.

During the 24 hours leading up to her birth, Olivia was rumbling around the womb, keeping ultrasound technicians guessing her location.

“The thing that stood out to me is how much this baby moved,” her papa said, foreseeing he might have a gymnast on his hands. “She was flip-flopping, and they had a hard time following her on the monitors.”

Not anticipating delivery until later in January, Chad Padovich was a bit stunned by Dec. 31’s events.

“It’s scary when the doctor walks in and says, ‘You’re going to have a baby today’ and it’s not on your planner,” he said. “I was at work, when I got a text that said, ‘You need to meet me over here right now.’ ”

“We’re going to the hospital,” Maren Padovich said. “Let’s have a baby tonight.”

But as doctors began sorting through a late-night birthing rush, the New Year’s Eve baby turned into a New Year’s Day baby.

Just one of those extra surprises, her mom said, as she rocked the 6-pound, 11-ounce, newborn, just shy of 19 inches long.

“It was going to be (Monday) night, and then another patient came in that needed a C-section too,” Maren Padovich said. “It’s kind of crazy — you always hear about New Year’s babies and stuff on New Year’s, and this was not in the plan.”

The couple shrugged off the nuanced “would you rather have the tax deduction in this year or next?” question.

“As long as mom and baby are healthy, we’ll take whatever,” Chad Padovich said.

“But it will be a really good story forever for her,” Maren said.

With two boys and two girls in the household, Emily, no longer the baby of the family, told her parents her little sister “has brought balance to the Force.”

The Rogue Valley’s earliest arrival won’t be at a loss for friends during playtime. Her mom is one of eight children, and her dad, one of four. Olivia is her maternal grandparents’ 36th grandchild.

“We have a big crowd when we all get together,” Maren Padovich said. “She will be well taken care of, loved and spoiled.”

The Padovich’s roots are in Utah, but they lived in Roseburg for four years before moving to Josephine County in November. Chad Padovich is a family nurse practitioner in the urgent care unit at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. He calls the medical field “the family business.”

Maren Padovich is presently a stay-at-home mom but eventually plans to return to her role as a registered nurse in the surgery recovery room.

“I love surgery,” Maren Padovich said. “I was able to watch the C-section in the reflection of the lights. It was pretty cool.”

Olivia was collectively named by the family. As they discussed variations of the name, Livie, or Livs, Ryan had the quintessential 8-year-old suggestion: Liver.

“For the past couple of months, this baby has been Liver,” her mom said.

Olivia Padovich was one of three babies born before noon on New Year’s Day at RRMC, joining another girl and boy.

While reporters quizzed Olivia’s parents and cameras documented yawns and stretches, her siblings peppered their dad with texts.

“They called me like five times wanting to FaceTime,” he said. “My texts have gone off saying, ‘Can we see the baby again.’ ”

For the next 365 days, they’ll have bragging rights to share with their friends.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or gstiles@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GregLStiles or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.

Denise Baratta / Mail TribuneMaren and Chad Padovich hold their baby girl Olivia Padovich who came into the world early Tuesday as Medford's first newborn of 2019.