ALBANY — When Brooke Storm decided to name her first child Gabriel Angelo Surgick, she didn’t know he was going to be born on Christmas Day.
Storm, of Selkirk, was due to give birth to her first child two weeks ago. She came to St. Peters Hospital on Monday, and her doctor decided to induce labor early Wednesday morning.
“When they finally said to me at 3 a.m. — ‘OK, he’s having a rough time, we’re going to induce you’ — I was like wow, just my luck, in a good way, Merry Christmas to me,” she said. “So here he is, the best present.”
Storm said she realizes now that her son will always be linked to Christmas, and to the biblical story of Christmas, in which the angel Gabriel delivers a prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary.
From a practical standpoint, Gabriel Angelo Surgick also stands to receive a lot of joint birthday/Christmas presents over the course of his life.
“That’s what his father [Quayshon Surgick] said, ‘Birthday and Christmas, same day. What are we going to do?'” Storm recalled.
Gabriel Angelo Surgick, born 7 pounds, 15 ounces, was the only Christmas Day baby been born at St. Peters by 9 a.m. Wednesday, but hospital spokesman Robert Webster said it was possible three other women might give birth before the end of the day.
“We’ve had a banner year for babies. Last week we celebrated our 3,000th baby, which is a record for our institution,” Webster said.
Beverly Miller, team leader Wednesday of the nurses on St. Peter’s maternity ward, said more babies have been added since then, giving the hospital 3,030 by mid-morning Wednesday.
“Births are down [nationally], but our hospital is the exception to that, our births are way up, she said. “We equate that to being baby friendly and the support the mothers are getting at their bedside.”
The national U.S. birthdate declined by 2 percent in 2018 to 3,788,235 births, the lowest number since 1986, according to the provisional birthrate report published in May. This is the fourth consecutive year the report has shown a decline in births. But the report also showed an increase in the rate of births among women in their 30s.
Clifton Park residents Barry Morales, 32, and his wife Danielle Morales, 33, fit the mold of young professionals having their first child in their 30s. Danielle gave birth to the couple’s first son, Parker Morales — born 7 pounds, 10.2 ounces — at 4:56 a.m. on Christmas Eve. Danielle said it was a surprise, but not to her husband.
“My due date was Dec. 27, so this was the best early gift,” she said. “He had predicted Christmas Eve a few weeks ago.”
“It was weird, I had a feeling, because I heard someone when I was at soccer talking about having a birthday on Christmas Eve,” Barry Morales said. “I was like ‘Oh man’,” he said.
Barry and Danielle both work for Menands-based video game developer Vicarious Visions. Barry is a producer and Danielle is a lead artist. Barry manages the game projects and Danielle manages the art team, making sure the work gets done on time.
Storm and the Morales family were treated to a visit from Santa Claus, 22-year veteran Santa Bill Rosenberger.
Rosenberger said the visits from Santa for the Christmas-time babies are a great tradition at the hospital. “I like seeing the smiles on the parents’ faces, because they’re not home, and usually nobody stops by,” he said.