First baby of 2004 is a Walker |

First baby of 2004 is a Walker

Kimberly Nicoletti
Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsWith the help of a police escort to get to Summit Medical Center, Gary and Regina Walker arrived just in time to make Nicole Maria the first baby born in Summit County in 2004.

FRISCO – This year, a bundle of babies clamored for the newborn spotlight.

OK, so maybe they didn’t know about the honor – maybe they haven’t grasped the concept of fame yet. Maybe it’s just coincidence or the late-March storm that caused so many couples to snuggle close and create an onslaught of new year’s births.

Regardless of the reason, Nicole Maria Walker – Summit Medical Center’s official 2004 new year’s baby – faced some heavy competition.

The Birth Place delivered eight babies in the last three days and expects 10 to 12 more by Jan. 19, said nurse Melanie Miller.

“I don’t think we’ve been this busy around New Year’s,” said Miller, who has worked at the Birth Place for five years.

On Wednesday – New Year’s Eve – Mike Schmitt and Julie Scott looked like the best bet for bringing the first 2004 baby into Frisco. They came into the Birth Place at 7 a.m. for a medically planned, induced labor. By 10:30 p.m., with no other prospects in sight, they still had a chance.

Two minutes later, they had their first child. Natalie Helen Scott weighed 5 pounds, 8.1 ounces.

And the proud parents promptly forgot about fame and a big gift basket.

“We don’t care,” Scott said about delivering in 2003. “It was a great way to spend New Year’s.”

At midnight, the couple “wearily cheered,” and along with Natalie’s two new grandmothers, exchanged new year wishes. “This is going to be a totally new year,” Schmitt said. “Everything’s going to change.”

Meanwhile, Regina Walker breathed through contractions in her home in Fairplay.

“At midnight, (my husband and I) kissed each other and said, “Happy New Year,'” she said. “I went on having contractions, and he went to sleep.”

The couple had been at the Birth Place from 8-10 p.m. Wednesday, but doctors sent them home because she wasn’t dilated enough and the contractions weren’t progressing.

At 2 a.m., Regina Walker knew it was time. Her husband, Gary, began driving her to the Birth Place, and when they reached Alma, a police officer escorted them to the hospital.

“I saw an officer sitting in Alma, and I pulled over and said, “I’m trying to drive carefully, but I’m driving a little fast because my wife’s having a baby,'” Gary Walker said.

They arrived about an hour before she delivered Nicole Walker at 4:01 a.m.

“We didn’t expect to be the first ones,” Regina Walker said. “We thought we might shoot for that first baby, but what are the chances?”

Nicole Walker weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and measured 20 inches. She was due on Dec. 29 but held out long enough to garner some attention and a gift basket packed with clothes, a book, a stuffed animal, wine, cider and infant necessities donated by local businesses.

As the parents oohed and aahed over the gifts, they expressed their gratitude to local donors.

Two years ago, the Walkers missed having the new year’s baby by 10 days. Apparently, early spring is a magical time for the couple.

“This next March and April, I’m staying away from my husband,” Regina Walker joked but didn’t make any promises for the following spring.

Did the March blizzard, which dumped as much as 5 feet of snow in the mountains, have anything to do with their timing?

“That explains it,” Gary Walker said. “We just got back from Germany, and we were just hanging out at home because it was snowy.”

Down the hall, Scott snuggled with her newborn and said, “We recommend (having a baby) to any couple.”

Snowstorm or not.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at

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