Kitsap’s first baby of 2006 makes quick arrival

Mia Huntwork was born to Carisa Huntwork, of Bremerton, 12 minutes into the new year.  - Photo by Valentina Petrova
Mia Huntwork was born to Carisa Huntwork, of Bremerton, 12 minutes into the new year.
— image credit: Photo by Valentina Petrova

Mia Huntwork is only four days old today. She has already managed to prove herself a stubborn youngster.

Mia was supposed to arrive Dec. 30, 2005, but she held off all the way until 12 minutes past midnight on Jan. 1 to become the first baby born in Kitsap County in 2006.

“The countdown to New Year’s was ‘Push, push,’” said mom, Carisa Huntwork, with a smile.

“I’ve never been on this end,” said Donna Huntwork, Carisa’s mother. “It was an awesome experience.”

Mia is her first grandchild, but Donna has four girls and a boy of her own.

Carisa’s older sister Amber Gibson, came from Tacoma on Friday when the family first expected Mia to be born.

Doctors tried to induce labor, but Carisa spent the night at Naval Hospital Bremerton and her water broke only the following day in the early afternoon.

In the first hours of 2006, Mia’s grandmother was calling friends — many of whom were still up celebrating the new year — to announce the birth of her first grandchild, the 8-pound, 21-inch bundle of joy that remained nameless.

Not that Carisa and Donna had not spent months thinking up baby names. Carisa created an original one, but wanted to wait until the baby was born to see if it fits her.

“She doesn’t look like a Tillenna,” mom said. “She looks like a short-name baby.”

By Monday afternoon, the new mother was packing up Mia’s belongings, including her very first birthday gift — basket with toys, blankets and baby games that the nurses at the maternity ward gifted to the first baby of the year.

Donna, who was having trouble getting used to her new “grandma” title, wrapped Mia in a pink Care Bears baby blanket.

John Huntwork, who recently retired from the Navy, was on his way to pick up his wife, daughter and first granddaughter from the hospital. He was excited his first grandchild had made it into the local media, the family receiving calls at the hospital as early as a half hour after Mia entered the world.

The Huntworks’ son, who is now 12, was an 11-pound baby and John joked that a few more pounds could have gotten the boy in the news, Donna said.

The first-time grandmother was proud of her daughter for getting through the long birthing process.

“All my labors were very fast, the longest was five hours,” Donna said, pacing around the family room at Naval Hospital holding Mia on her shoulder and tapping the baby’s back gently.

Donna said some things have changed since the last time she herself had a baby. There are no more nurseries at the hospital, instead there are the private family rooms.

“The only downside to that is that now you can’t (walk down the hall and) stare at what you’re working for,” Donna said with a laugh.

She did not mind the change, though, because she and her oldest daughter were thus able to spend the night on Friday in Carisa’s room and celebrated New Year’s Eve there as well, with the television, mounted high on the wall across from the bed, tuned to the dropping of the ball.

January 3, Mia’s first full day at home in Bremerton, was also Carisa’s 19th birthday.

Donna and her daughter were brainstorming plans for the celebration Monday. During her pregnancy Carisa had to limit her consumption of seafood because of high mercury levels in that cuisine. She was ready to enjoy her favorites — shrimp and shellfish — when the family went out to dinner Tuesday.

“What do you want for your birthday, Carisa? ‘Just watch the baby, mom,’” Donna said with a grin, but then added a suggestion with a more serious tone, still smiling. “Maybe we go out to dinner and show off my granddaughter.”

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