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'Miracle baby' the first to arrive in 2013

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Considering what he already had been through, his parents shouldn't have been surprised their son didn't arrive on his due date.

After surviving a scare early in his mother's womb, Hunter Christopher Stacy came into the world on his own time.

Hunter's 2:40 a.m. arrival time Jan. 1 gave him the distinction of being the first new year's baby born at Hays Medical Center in 2013.

His parents, Zachary Stacy and Jamie Beckman from Rochester, Wash., were thrilled -- and relieved -- to see their son get a clean bill of health.

Jamie's appendix burst when she was 12 weeks along, and she spent nearly a month in the hospital battling infections.

All the while, doctors -- and family -- kept a close monitor on the baby, as well as Jamie.

"They told us that if her appendix burst, the rate of mortality for the fetus was high," said Jamie's mom, Chris Snyder, who has been in town since Hunter's birthday helping out. "It was scary. We call (Hunter) our little miracle baby."

Jamie's illness delayed her transfer from a hair academy in Rochester to Hays Academy of Hair Design, where she wanted to complete her 36-week cosmetology program. She checked out the Hays school and heard good things about the academy, a nationally recognized program.

Once she and Zachary settled in with Jamie's grandmother, Eloise Reed, in Hays, they got into a routine in their new town while awaiting the arrival of their baby, whose due date was Jan 9.

Jamie wondered if he would come a few days early and arrive on her birthday, which is today.

But Zachary, whose birthday also is this month -- on the 28th -- predicted Jan. 1 for their baby's birth.

When she started having contractions about five minutes apart on New Year's Eve, Jamie decided it was time to go the hospital at about 9:30 p.m., where her water broke about 11.

Less than four hours later, Jamie and Zachary welcomed their new son, weighing in at 6 pounds, 12 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.

With his prediction being correct, Zachary decided to buy a scratch lottery ticket and won $20.

"And I found $20 on the ground that day, too," he said.

Meanwhile, Grandma Snyder was making her way by air and ground from Rochester to visit her first grandchild and arrived in Hays at approximately 5:30 p.m. New Year's Day.

"It was a long day," admitted Snyder, who left her home at 1:30 a.m. Jan. 1 for the 16-hour trip. "But it was worth it."

Jamie won't return to school until February, when she will have some nieces watch her baby during school hours.

When Jamie graduates later this year, the young family plans to return to Rochester.

But Jamie and Zachary never will forget their experience in Kansas, one Grandma Snyder says ended in a miracle.