OSKALOOSA — After a year like no other, the beginning of 2021 in the Mahaska Health Birthing Center began like none other, as well.

Lydia Jean Harland, of Ottumwa, and Ramsey Ann Schultz, of Eddyville, excitedly joined the world within nearly an hour of one another. To add to the uniqueness, both moms grew up in Eddyville together and know one another, so they quickly decided to share the title of delivering the first ‘babies’ of the New Year.

Lydia Jean made her arrival first, on Jan. 4 at 4:35 p.m. She weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces, was 20.5 inches long and delivered by Dr. Shawn Richmond. Lydia’s parents, Alicia and Gary, shared, “It was a very exciting time in the Birthing Center, as we knew our deliveries would likely be very close together. Lydia is our third baby, and Dr. Richmond has delivered all of our children. Even though each pregnancy is different, working with Dr. Richmond is always a very good experience. He and his team know exactly what to do, and we feel so confident in knowing that.”

Ramsey Ann was born at 5:26 p.m., weighing 7 lbs. 14 oz., was 20 inches long, and delivered by Dr. Angela Godejohn. Ashley and Derek, Ramsey’s parents, said, “Dr. Godejohn was very laid back and so easy to work with; it was a great experience. Also, we enjoyed the mini Eddyville reunion that took place at the same time.”

The Birthing Center team at Mahaska Health looks forward to another year of helping families grow, and is excited for their team’s own upcoming growth, adding four new Family Practice and Obstetrics providers in 2021. Mahaska Health has been recognized by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a Blue Distinction Center+ for their expertise in delivering exceptional specialty care.

“We are proud of the quality care our physicians and nursing team provide for our expectant mothers and their babies, from their first obstetrics visit, through their delivery and beyond," shared Chief Medical Officer Timothy Breon. "This year, we are looking forward to the additions of family practice and obstetrics physicians Patricia Millner, MD, Hannah Thompson, DO, Preston Sereg, MD, and Eric Wood, DO, as they share in our mission of providing exceptional, heartfelt care to our community."

“Every day in our birthing center, our amazing group of physicians and nurses offer families personalized, down-to-earth care,” said Birthing Center Assistant Director Erica Strunk. “With our peaceful, private rooms, a variety of pain management solutions, and exceptional medical support team, mothers have all the amenities they need to have a successful delivery. We look forward to serving many more families like the Schultz and Harland families.”

As the first babies of the year, Ramsey and Lydia received gifts from Mahaska Health and Whispering Tree Gifts, the gift shop located on the Mahaska Health Campus. The Mahaska Health team wishes Ramsey and Lydia, along with their families, all the best in the years to come and thank them for choosing Mahaska Health.

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