Poker game ends with full house

by Brandy C. Ostanik
Army Medicine

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - Medical Department Activity - Alaska welcomed its first baby of 2018 as he made his appearance at Bassett Army Community Hospital at 11:22 a.m. Jan. 1.

Carlos Jr., 7 pounds, 3 ounces and 19 inches long, was born to Esmeralda Valdez and husband Spc. Carlos Valdez, assigned to D Company, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment.

While watching their nurse, Capt. Amatul Davis, give Carlos Jr. his first bath Jan. 2 in her hospital room, Esmeralda recounted the story of going into labor.

"We were at home having a poker night with friends going into the New Year," says Esmeralda. "We were having a good time and celebrating but I had to stop the game and tell them it was time for me to go in to have the baby."

Not quite convinced that it was time, the game continued into the New Year, when at 12:30 a.m. Esmeralda told her guests it was time to leave so she could head into Bassett. When they arrived at Bassett and were checked in, Esmeralda was at 5 cm dilated and went on to have an uncomplicated birth.

"It was a good experience here at Bassett," said Esmeralda.

The Valdez family now has a full house. While this was the Valdez's first child born at Bassett ACH, as well as their first boy, Carlos Jr. went home to join his three older sisters, Jenaly (10), Kattie (6) and Zulema (4).

In addition to a healthy baby boy, the Valdez family was also sent home with a gift basket of baby items and a diaper cake put together by staff from the maternal newborn unit. A tradition for the first baby of the New Year.

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