TRAVERSE CITY — Bryan Fasel and Kristina VanVleet got a bit nervous when the Christmas due date for their soon-to-be baby came and went and several more days ticked by.
Fasel had more reason to be nervous than most. He works for an oil field service company in Towanda, Pa., and had a limited number of days to be with the baby. He drove here a few days before Christmas and must return to work on Monday.
VanVleet admitted she was “very nervous,” too, although she was more fearful of the prospect of labor pains.
“My friends and sister don’t sugarcoat things,” said VanVleet, 22.
Finally, doctors scheduled an induction on Jan. 2 for the overdue baby, but none was needed. Baby Beau Fasel was born at 4:12 a.m. on New Year’s Day and officially declared Munson Medical Center’s first baby of the year. Sheila Shannon, the baby’s grandma, said he arrived on exactly the day she’d predicted.
Beau weighed in at a healthy 8 pounds 3 ounces, and measured 21 1/2 inches long. He’s the first of about 1,900 babies who are expected to be born at Munson Medical Center in 2014, based on birth numbers from the last two years, said Munson spokesman Ian Jones.
Beau wore a green John Deere t-shirt, although his blue jeans, too big, laid folded on his tiny bed. Fasel and VanVleet said they have big plans for their new outdoor buddy.
VanVleet said she’s a little shy, so all the media attention has “been kind of crazy.” But she looks forward to showing him news articles and TV clips on his birthday when he gets older.
VanVleet anticipated the birth by swapping her Jeep for a more sensible KIA. She plans to move soon from Kingsley to Pennsylvania to join Fasel, although it was clear she wasn’t crazy about living there long-term.
“It’s temporary,” she said, reassuring a girlfriend, who had come to visit.
The mood was festive, but turned somber when Fasel considered the significance of ushering in a new life on New Year’s Day.
“I’m not going to mention names, but last year I lost a friend around New Year’s Eve,” he said. “This year, I’m gaining a new friend. I actually received a text from a friend this morning who reminded me of that and said ‘Congratulations.’ So this kind of has meaning for me.”