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First baby has calm delivery during storm

Tom Leitner 36 Elgholds his newborn daughter as his mother Alexis Martel looks on. RebeccMantz 32 Elgdelivered Aligail Grace 10:51

Tom Leitner, 36, of Elgin, holds his newborn daughter as his mother, Alexis Martel, looks on. Rebecca Mantz, 32, of Elgin, delivered Aligail Grace at 10:51 a.m. Wednesday, making the baby the first born in Elgin for 2014. | Janelle Walker~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: February 3, 2014 4:16PM



ELGIN — Abigail Grace’s parents won’t have a thrilling story to tell her when she is older about being born during one of the heaviest snowstorms to hit northern Illinois in the past three years.

Abigail, the New Year’s baby at Sherman Hospital, was born at 10:51 a.m. Wednesday. But instead of waiting until the middle of Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday’s snowstorm to decide she was ready to come into the world, Abigail’s mother, Rebecca Mantz, 32, of Elgin, was already at a doctors appointment.

Mantz had an appointment Tuesday to see her obstetrician, Dr. Michael Riedermaier, anyway. But the contractions she was feeling weren’t the Braxton-Hicks she’d been feeling on and off throughout her third trimester — it was the real deal.

She was admitted to the hospital to wait out her labor and delivery.

Dad, Tom Leitner, 36, of Elgin, came to the hospital shortly thereafter — before the snow began getting heavy.

But the 15 minute trip to Sherman late Tuesday night, to run home and let the dog out, became a 25-minute trip and he was almost stuck in the car at midnight, Leitner said.

Leitner’s mother and sister, Alexis Martel and Alicia Ercoli, had a slightly more difficult trip, driving to Sherman from Huntley to be there for the birth.

Since the family all made it for the delivery, and the snow didn’t cause any problems, the story for Abigail when she is older might just be how well-behaved her birth was, Mantz said.

“We we lucky,” since she was already at the hospital before the snow started, and was able to wait it out inside.

As the first baby born at Advocate Sherman Hospital in the New Year, the family will also go home with a swag basket, put together by Jeanne Rupsch and the birthing center nurses, including Kari Abdhallah and Diane Smith, the nuse-midwife that helped with Mantz’ labor and delivery.

The basket was packed with snacks, water, toiletries and makeup for mom, and diapers, rattles, teething rings, socks and other gifts for the baby, Rupsch said.

There is something special about starting a new year with a new baby, she added.

“We make New Year’s resolutions, but there is nothing better than starting a new year with a new baby,” Rupsch said.



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