Eager to get on with the business of life, Rebekah Bruss Astenreiter, Manatee County’s first baby of 2017, was born with a determined facial expression that seemed to say, “Hey, what gives? Why can’t I read and write yet and play with my sister?”
“Right now she’s OK because she is tired and it’s her nap time,” Rebekah’s mom, Pamala Bruss Astenreiter, said as she held her 7-pound, 6-ounce daughter about 12 hours after giving birth without complications at 1:50 a.m. Sunday in the Women’s Center at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.
“But when she gets up she can be a little tough. Stubborn,” Bruss Astenreiter said.
Manatee Memorial Hospital in downtown Bradenton is usually the site of the county’s first baby of the year. But Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, its sister hospital, had the honor for the first time in a while, said Lyndsey Misiewicz, who was Rebekah’s nurse at Lakewood Ranch.
The crew at Lakewood Ranch’s Mother’s Center, including Misiewicz, RN Kelly Siegfried and the delivering doctor, Dalibor Hradek, were all thrilled about being No. 1 this year, Misiewicz said.
To honor Rebekah, the hospital presented her family an American Express gift card and pink roses.
“Rebekah is a very good baby,” Misiewicz added. “She enjoyed her first bath.”
Manatee Memorial celebates second baby of 2017
It wasn’t until 10:53 a.m. Sunday, about nine hours after Rebekah came into the world, that Manatee Memorial celebrated the second baby of the year, a healthy boy of 8 pounds, 7 ounces named Maksim Spasov.
Maksim is the son of Maksim and Rosita Spasov, whose parents, of Bulgarian heritage, are dance instructors in Bradenton, said Katie Powers, a registered nurse and lactation consultant at Manatee Memorial Hospital for 33 years.
“The baby is in great shape,” Powers said of Maksim. “But mom is just exhausted.”
Rebekah, the No. 1 girl, has attitude
Pamala and her husband, Air Jr., who couldn’t stop smiling, noted their new daughter’s tiny turned up nose, which seemed to reflect the baby’s displeasure at not being able to immediately talk to everyone in the room or at least be able to play pat-a-cake with her 5-year-old sister, Esther.
It was already obvious to the Sarasota couple, whose heritage is Brazilian, that their daughter, who was 20 inches long at birth, will be strong-willed, determined, ambitious and industrious.
“She seems assertive,” her mom said. “I don’t know if she will be president, but I hope she conquers great things.”
Pamala Bruss Astenreiter is a registered nurse on the night shift on the cardiac floor at Doctor’s Hospital in Sarasota while her husband, Air, is a boat detailer.
The couple, who both speak English and Portuguese, met at an Assemblies of God Brazilian church in Sarasota where Air’s father was pastor.
Bruss Astenreiter began getting regular contractions every hour when she was home on Saturday. She went to work, but the contractions began coming every 15 minutes and 10 minutes. Doctor’s Hospital is not set up to deliver babies so she headed home to get ready to go to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center.
“The contractions got to five mintues and my sister-in-law picked me up at work and took me home,” Bruss Astenreiter said. “I packed some baby clothes and clothes for myself and when I got here I was already five centimeters dilated.”
Her water broke during admission triage and, within two hours, she gave birth.
New Years Day is Powers’ Day
While some people love Christmas or Thanksgiving, Katie Powers loves New Year’s Day because she gets to let the world know about the first baby at the two sister hospitals. The nurses call Powers when the babies are born, and Powers alerts the media, eager to know names and stories.
“I keep my phone next to my bed,” Powers said Sunday afternoon. “The nurses know to call me. Every year is special because birth is so amazing. We are welcoming a new person into the world.”