Visalia boy is county’s first birth in 2020

Liam James Casper of Visalia, Tulare County’s first baby of the decade, is born at 12:57 a.m. on New Year’s Day

The Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – Less than an hour into the new year, Tulare County’s first baby of the decade was born at Kaweah Delta Medical Center.

The baby boy, Liam James Casper, was born at 12:57 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, at Kaweah Delta Medical Center to parents Cassandra McCarter and James Casper of Visalia. Liam weighed in at 8 pounds and was 20.47 inches in length.

Liam’s due date was Dec. 29, but he wasn’t ready to see the world till after the new year. 

“I was late with my first, I was late with my second. My children are just stubborn,” Cassandra joked with her first-born son Andres sitting proudly by her side wearing a “Big Brother” sticker. Liam is the family’s 7th grandchild on his mother’s side – all are boys.

The first girl born on New Year’s Day at Kaweah Delta was Journey Kay Jennings. Journey was born at 8:10 a.m. to parents Jenna DiGiorgio and Jeramy Jennings, of Visalia. Journey was 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long. She is the couple’s first child.

Journey’s due date was Jan. 9, but she came early just as mom Jenna expected. In fact, Jenna came to the hospital shortly after watching the Times Square New Year’s eve ball drop on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest. 

“I told them wait, ‘I have to watch the ball drop and then we can go,’” she said.

In the ensuing five hours, five more babies were born at Kaweah Delta on New Year’s day. Kaweah Delta delivers around 5,000 babies each year in its Family Birthing Center, which provides maternity and infant health care. It offers the community a 21-bed labor and delivery unit, a 42-bed postpartum unit, the largest labor/delivery triage area in Tulare County, anesthesiologists Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists for high-risk deliveries, along with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staffed by physicians from Valley Children’s Medical Group. 

Construction is currently taking place to expand the NICU to 23-beds with private rooms and eight Neonatal Intermediate Care Beds. Kaweah Delta’s NICU is community designated by California Children’s Services as providing care for infants as early as 26-weeks gestation and has a neonatologist/pediatric hospitalist on site 24/7.

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