CROWN POINT | Maternity wards staff brace for days like Wednesday.
When a novel date, such as 9/10/11, 10/11/12 or 11/11/11, appears on the calendar, expectant mothers clamor for a chance to deliver their child that day. With Wednesday's date lining up three 12s in a row, it was no different.
Franciscan St. Anthony Health hospital in Crown Point had five scheduled labor inductions and one scheduled Cesarean section Wednesday. And, space was set aside for pregnant women who arrived at the hospital in labor that day.
"We're definitely at our maximum," said Kathy Podorsek, director of obstetrics at the hospital.
Podorsek said employees try to think of interesting date combinations well in advance, so enough staff members are scheduled to work those days.
"We always try to think of these cool dates (to prepare)," she said.
When Nov. 11, 2011, meant 11/11/11 on a birth certificate, the maternity floor was busy.
"Nov. 11, 2011, was all ones," Podorsek said. "When you get something like that, it's even more enticing to people."
The birth date conversation comes up in a doctor's office, and the hospital accommodates as it can, without overscheduling.
Hospital policy requires a woman to reach at least 39 weeks gestation before being electively induced, Podorsek said.
"That 39-week mark is very important for the health of the baby," she said.
Crown Point residents Angela and Chris Kauzlarich welcomed their first child, baby girl Graysen Kauzlarich, at 7 a.m. Wednesday, five days before her due date.
Some friends had urged the couple to try to have the baby sooner, but they were not interested.
"It was just pure luck with us," Chris Kauzlarich said. "Right at 7 a.m., on the dot, she was here. We weren't anticipating it. That's pretty lucky, especially with so many people lining up to do that."
Graysen was born healthy at 18.5 inches and 7 pounds, 1 ounce.