This is the article as it appeared in the Caller on January 1, 2003
Note from CCBC: Jennifer’s baby was actually born on a birth stool in her bedroom. The name of Beth Overton’s business at the time was “Gentle Beginnings”

2003’s first babies

Lincoln Graham born at home in a hallway

By Tricia Schwennesen Caller-Times
January 2, 2003

p-1babies0102 dJennifer Graham, 25, was shopping for clothes at Target at about 2 p.m. Tuesday when she first began to feel labor pains. Her husband’s whereabouts were unknown to her, but Richard, 29, lingered in the toy aisles looking at action figures.

Neither thought the birth of their son would happen on New Year’s Day. After all, he was due Jan 3, and Jennifer Graham had heard that most first-time mothers deliver late. The couple continued to shop. They went to Half Price Books and were considering a New Year’s Eve party when the situation dramatically changed.

“When we got home, she really got serious,” Richard Graham said. “She labored in the bathtub, then in the bed and she gave birth in the hallway. My wife became my biggest hero.”

The Grahams welcomed Richard Lincoln Graham into the world at 1:49 a.m., making him the first baby born in 2003 in Corpus Christi. Lincoln, as he will be called, weighed in at 8 pounds 11 ounces and was 21 inches long.

An exhausted Jennifer gently rocked Lincoln, named after the Nebraska capital where the couple met, _while a beaming Richard told the story of his son’s birth.

“I feel totally blown away,” Richard said, his parents, Helga and Richard L. Graham, standing close at hand. “The moment he came out crying, my whole world changed.”

They had been planning a home birth from the beginning with the help of Gentle Beginning’s midwife Beth Overton. When the couple recently moved to Flour Bluff from Iowa, Jennifer did some research and was shocked to learn of the city’s caesarean birthrate, which Overton said is 30 percent.

“I didn’t want to have an IV, I didn’t want fetal monitoring unless it was needed and I didn’t want to be stuck in bed,” Jennifer said. “Beth was the only one who would let me do it my way.”

At about the time the Grahams were going into full labor, just outside the city in Robstown, Jacqueline Obregon, 20, felt the first pangs of labor. Obregon thought it was “false labor” and planned to spend the night at home, shooting off fireworks with her husband, Guadalupe Luna Jr., 21, and their nieces and nephews.

She wasn’t due until Jan. 7. By 11 p.m. she knew she was wrong. She called her mother-in-law and they drove to Doctor’s Regional Hospital.

“I remember when we got here they were saying Happy New Year’s,” she said. Eighteen hours of labor later, at 7:20 a.m. New Year’s Day, Obregon and Luna welcomed Guadalupe “Trey” Luna III into the world, the first baby of 2003 delivered in a local hospital.

“He’s a little star,” she said, smoothing the baby’s tiny New Year’s T-shirt. Trey weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces and was 20 inches long.

“It’s a blessing,” Luna said. “I’m happy he’s healthy and him being born on New Year’s Day is just a bonus.”

Contact Tricia Schwennesen at 886-3618 or schwennesent@caller.com

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