Joshua and Michelle Buchanan welcomed their fifth child into the world at 6:15 p.m. on Jan. 2 at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, and the unnamed babe is the 2018 Happy New Year Baby.
They haven’t yet agreed upon a name for their fourth son, who weighed seven pounds, seven ounces, and measured 20 1/2 inches.
“It’s great,” said Joshua Buchanan. “It went really fast. The labor was quick and intense at the end, requiring just one push and he came out. We are calm as experienced parents; I feel lucky to have had five healthy babies. All were done naturally with no pain killers.”
The older children age 8, 6, 4, and 3 all have names that are part of nature: Rivers, Reef, Kai, and Koral, so the Buchanan parents have names under discussion.
“We want something along that line of nature but haven’t agreed,” Michelle Buchanan said.
“We want something unique and relatable, but not something cheesy,” Joshua Buchanan said. “We’ve given all our children kind of regular middle names in case when they get older and they hate the name we gave them, they can always go by their middle name.”
The Buchanan family moved from Santa Cruz, California, nearly three years ago joining Michelle’s parents who retired to the Bitterroot Valley 12 years ago.
“We fell in love with it out here,” Joshua Buchanan said. “Santa Cruz has so many people and so many social problems. Montana is a great place to raise a family. When you’re young and you don’t have a lot of responsibilities California is a great place. But when you get older your values change – at least mine did.”
Michelle Buchanan said she does miss the ocean and her large extended family.
The couple had their previous children in large city hospitals and said they appreciate the small hospital with closer parking, no security hassles to get in, and more personalized attention.
“The hospitals we are used to have seven or eight delivery rooms. This is nicer, with fewer people running around and less chaos,” Joshua Buchanan said. “Here we received great care and it was easy to bring in grandparents and our other children to visit.”
The New Year Baby received a new stroller, filled with diapers, hand knit and crocheted blankets, and a Dr. Seuss onesie that says “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” which fit right into the family name theme.
“It is so welcome because we hadn’t planned on having more children and gave away all our baby clothes and furniture,” Michelle Buchanan said.
Doctor Ann Kimmel delivered the Happy New Year Baby.
“We love that he’s the New Year Baby, especially since it was spontaneous and not cheating by induced delivery, forceps, or delayed Cesarean,” Kimmel said.
Delivering for the New Year Baby was a fierce competition at hospitals in Phoenix where she previously lived. Kimmel joined Marcus Daly Memorial hospital in April of 2016 and has delivered many babies.
“I love it here and because there isn’t that hectic crush of millions of people. You can give personalized care and attention to each patient and family,” she said. “Here everybody is special and for me, that's great job satisfaction to give that care to patients. It is a special time in their life and something I love doing.”
Kimmel said following labor dreams by soon-to-be-moms is a top priority. Wishes include birthing plans, labor Jacuzzi tubs, letting moms walk around or find the most comfortable position, medications to ease labor pains, or no medication.
She also likes the extra space for family members to attend births.
“Obviously the mom is the center of attention, but it is really special when the dad, or significant other, are intimately involved. And it really touches my heart when you see a new father cry, or get choked up. It is just such a wonderful thing to be part of,” she said. “I like having fathers involved and offering them to cut the cord.”
A new recommendation is to wait on umbilical cutting the cord until it stops pulsing.
“We place the baby on the mother’s chest or abdomen right away,” Kimmel said. “Getting the baby to the mom quickly helps their bonding experience. Babies breastfeed better if we get them going with mom quicker and we do encourage breastfeeding.”
Kimmel was a labor and delivery nurse, who decided to become a delivery doctor after having her own children.
“When I was in labor the first time I felt so vulnerable and I really looked to the nurses for support,” she said. “They gave it and I decided to do it for a living – it gives me more empathy.”