First-time mom welcomes county’s first baby of 2014
by Briana Webster
Jan 03, 2014 | 2726 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Breanna Strout and her husband James welcomed their son, Harley James, at 7:37 a.m. Wednesday, making him the first baby born in Walker County in 2014. Both the first-time mom and her son were doing well Thursday. Daily Mountain Eagle - Ron Harris
Breanna Strout and her husband James welcomed their son, Harley James, at 7:37 a.m. Wednesday, making him the first baby born in Walker County in 2014. Both the first-time mom and her son were doing well Thursday. Daily Mountain Eagle - Ron Harris
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History tells us that around 600 B.C., Greeks would celebrate Dionysus — god of wine, festivity and also associated with fertility — by displaying a baby as a symbol of rebirth during the new year. While some were popping open a bottle of bubbly to ring in 2014, Breanna and James Strout were headed to the hospital two weeks early to receive their little bundle of joy.

Harley James Strout arrived Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 7:37 a.m., making him the first baby to be born in Walker County on New Year’s Day. Harley entered the world weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce and measuring 19 inches in length.

Ingrid Strout, one of Harley’s grandmothers, said being born on a holiday runs in their family.

“This is my ninth grandbaby. I’m excited,” said an ecstatic Ingrid Strout. “I’m a Christmas baby. So, now we have a New Year’s baby. One of my other grandchildren was a Thanksgiving baby.” 

Breanna was in labor for 13 hours but had no difficulties in delivering Harley, who is named after a character in the movie “Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man.”

“New Year’s Eve I was having labor pains that day, and then I was crossing my fingers that I was actually going to go in and have my first baby born on New Year’s,” said 23-year-old Breanna. “I was hoping and praying to make him special; make him ‘Mr. Unique.’” 

Approximately 800 babies on average are born each year at Walker Baptist Medical Center, according to Renae McKinney who is over the hospital’s public relations, marketing, advertising and volunteer services. She said WBMC has seen quite a number of births at the hospital this week.

Dr. Roy Sims was the one who delivered baby Harley.

While holding her baby snug in her arms, Breanna noticed Johannes Brahms “Lullaby” being played throughout the hospital, which signifies that a baby was just born.

“Oh, a baby’s being born,” she said with a smile.

“It was busy yesterday,” McKinney added before presenting the parents with a gift basket from the hospital. “ ... I know we had several yesterday. Between New Year’s Eve and today, there’s been about six or eight babies born.

“One of the staff told me a lot of them had scheduled to be off, and they had to call everybody in because of all the babies that were being born. You just never know,” she continued. “They’re going to get here when they’re ready.” 

Grandparents of Harley are Ingrid and Conway Strout, Brenda and Rickey O’Neal and James Fikes. The Strouts agreed that this was a great start to the beginning of the new year.

“Like I said, the best is getting to say hello to 2014 and be a first-time mom,” Breanna said. “It’s awesome.”