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First baby of 2008 was born at home

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AMELIA GARDNER AND Nate Gusakov welcomed the first baby born in Addison County in 2008 at their Lincoln home on New Year's Day. Abigail Lucile Gusakov weighed in at 7 pounds, 12 ounces.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell


January 7, 2008

By CYRUS LEVESQUE

LINCOLN — Contrary to local tradition, Addison County’s first baby of the year was not born at Porter Hospital. Instead, Abigail Lucile Gusakov came into this world at 5:45 a.m. on Jan. 1 in a small house on Browns Road in Lincoln.

The birth of the 21.5-inch-long, 7-pound-12-ounce bundle of joy did follow a family tradition. Abigail’s parents, Amelia Gardner and Nate Gusakov, were both delivered at home.

“It was really nice to have a home birth. I’d encourage people to consider it. It’s not scary,” Gardner said.

Despite having their baby delivered by a midwife — Carol Gibson-Warnock of Bristol — the family took precautions, just in case a trip to Porter would be needed. They let an obstetrician at the hospital know in advance, and as the snow fell on New Year’s Eve, they thought about leaving Lincoln for the home of Gusakov’s parents in Bristol. That way they would still be in a familiar home, even if not their own.

In the end, even though Abigail arrived two weeks before her due date, those preparations turned out to be unnecessary. “There was no indication of any sort of complication,” Gardner said.

There were a few scares, though. About two months ago Gardner, 23, went into early labor, which would have been far too early for the baby’s health and made a home birth impossible. But she took it easy for the following weeks, and they managed to delay the birth.

“I think she was waiting to be a January baby,” said Anne Wallace, Gusakov’s mother. “She hung in there, because her mother took care of herself.”

The expectant parents had been told that it would probably be safe to have the baby at home any time after the 37th week of pregnancy. So, around the winter solstice, when the 37th week came and Gardner could be active without fear of inducing labor too early, the couple went horseback riding.

Gardner spent almost all of the last week in bed.

The birth was a family affair. In addition to the mother, father and midwife, Abigail’s grandparents were in the house, as were Gusakov’s grandmother, Gardner’s sister, and other close friends and family. “From the morning she was being born, she was surrounded by a lot of family and friends,” said Gusakov, 27.

A few even managed to be part of it even though they weren’t there in person. Gusakov said that his brother William was on a plane to London at the time, but is a carpenter, and he had made the bed that Abigail was ultimately delivered in.

Gardner said that one advantage of a home birth was the way she could move around during the course of the labor. Her water broke around 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 and she went into labor between four and six hours after that. During that time, she moved from an armchair to the bathtub for a while, when back pains became severe, and finally, to the bed set up in a large room downstairs.

By then, almost everyone was helping out somehow. “At that point, there’s a job for everyone,” Wallace said.

Gusakov said that having the baby in such a cozy setting, surrounded by family, only helped the experience. “Nothing felt invasive, it was all low-key,” he said, but then he had to correct himself. “Well, nothing’s low-key. It was intense, outrageous.”

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