First baby of 2018

From left, mother Amber Hitz, Peyton Taylor Thompson and father Jacob Thompson are pictured at HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital on Wednesday.

SARAH SEIFERT, The Herald

The first 2018 baby born at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital could be destined for an adventurous life: Peyton Taylor Thompson traveled to Florida and accompanied her mother during a deer hunt in 2017 – all before she was born at 4:57 p.m., Jan. 2.

“I hunted all the way through the season,” said Thompson’s mother, Amber Hitz of Cadott, who bagged a doe the day after Thanksgiving while roughly seven months into her pregnancy.

Despite being born a full 19 days before her due date of Jan. 21, Thompson weighed in at a respectable six pounds and eight ounces, and measured 20 ½ inches long.

Just a day old, Thompson snoozed through a Wednesday interview, unaware of her claim to fame as the hospital’s first baby of 2018. “She’s been a very good baby,” Hitz said. Peyton Thompson’s father, Jacob Thompson of Gilman, agreed: “She’s really easy to please. If she starts crying, hold her for a few seconds and she’s all right.”

Hitz’s labor was uneventful, the two-time mother said; she experienced pelvic pressure the week before delivery, was told the baby could arrive at any time, and since then, has been waiting for her daughter’s unpredictable arrival.

A family pet also may have been anxious for the baby to arrive. Hitz’s cat would sleep on her belly during the pregnancy, she said: “Every time she could, she’d come up and put a paw on my belly. I think she knew.”

The parents held a “gender reveal” party, where Hitz tossed Thompson a baseball with an image of an ultrasound inside it. “He missed the first time,” Hitz said, laughing.

But Hitz had hoped for a slightly later arrival date, she said. She and Jacob Thompson will celebrate their one-year anniversary on Jan. 9.

The baby’s middle name, Taylor, holds special significance to the couple; Jacob Thompson’s daughter Taylor passed away in July of 2016.

However, Hitz’s older daughter, 6, is slightly suspicious about her new sibling. “She really didn’t want much to do with her … She’s used to being an only child,” Jacob Thompson said with a laugh.

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Chippewa Herald reporter

Sarah Seifert covers the city and community of Chippewa Falls. Contact her with tips or story ideas at 715-738-1608 or at sarah.seifert@lee.net.

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