It might have seemed as though McPherson Hospital's first baby of 2013 was in a race for first.
Although in recent years some have been born as late as Jan. 14, Isaac Lee Gepner came on the second day of the year, with the birth itself only lasting about 15 minutes. Dr. David Buller arrived only minutes before the seven pound, 13 ounce baby was born at 4 p.m. Isaac was 20 inches long.
“I think it’s cool,” mother Sarah Reeves said of the New Year’s status, adding her best friend from Florida also had the first 2013 baby in her hospital. “If we had to wait until 2013, I'm glad he’s the first one.”
And while the little one came about a week before his due date, it was his parents that seemed slow on the draw for his name. Father Shane Gepner wanted a Biblical-based name, and said they purchased several name books and spent about three months looking over 1,000 names.
“We finally gave up and said ‘God, it’s your name,’” he said. “So I prayed on it, and that’s what came to us.”
Isaac came just after the couple completed renovation on their McPherson home.
“God works in mysterious ways,” Gepner said. “He’s got perfect timing on everything.”
Their newborn is the couple’s first child together.
“For me, it’s overwhelming at first,” he said. “You just don’t know how to take it all in. It changes your heart — the way you think, the way you feel.
“It’s life-changing for sure. Everybody kept saying, ‘You’re going to be a different person; you'll know when the baby comes and then you’ll feel it.’ But it didn't hit me until he was born, and then I was like, ‘Oh my God, he’s here.”
Once he was, the couple could tell he had hid father’s eyes and his mother’s nose. Gepner already could see his head of dark hair, complete with two cowlicks like his father.
“He’s gonna look like Alfalfa,” he said.
In addition to the gift basket given my McPherson Hospital Volunteers, Isaac was a birthday gift to his aunt.
“I was just elated,” Melissa Trowbridge of McPherson said. “I told them that was the best birthday present ever.”
Trowbridge was at the hospital when he was born.
“I heard his first cry,” she said. “Tears just flew down my face. Once we heard that we knew everything was going to be OK. Words couldn’t even describe it. I was grateful I could experience the whole thing with them.”
It was an experience the couple will not quickly forget.
“We couldn’t ask for a better way to start the new year,” Gepner said.
Page 2 of 2 - Isaac is the grandson of Steve and Rhey Gepner and the great-grandson of Casey Casavent, all of McPherson.