New Year’s Day was full of firsts at Beatrice Community Hospital.
The first baby of the new year, Bentley Vculek, was born late Monday afternoon. He was the first child for new mom, Aubree Vculek, the first grandchild for Amy Vculek and the first great-grandchild for Anita and Kim Wienke.
Bentley was born a few weeks early, after doctors decided to induce his mother, Aubree, on Monday, making him the first baby to be born in Beatrice in 2018, something Diane Vicars, BCH’s director of public relations, said the hospital has been celebrating for a long time.
“It's a celebration, just like watching the ball drop,” Vicars said. “It's just kind of a tradition that you celebrate the birth of the first baby at the hospital.”
The hospital awards the mother of the first baby born with a congratulatory basket full of newborn essentials such as diapers, clothes, toys and other fun items for a baby’s first few days.
More than 200 babies are born annually at Beatrice Community Hospital, Vicars said, and sometimes, since BCH is smaller than the hospitals in Lincoln, they have to wait a couple of days to welcome the first baby of the year.
But Bentley was born on New Year’s Day, which is a bit of a family tradition, Anita Wienke said.
“22 years ago, I was doing this,” she said, having given birth to her son, the first baby of 1996, in Superior.
At the hospital on Tuesday, Aubree was holding Bentley after he’d been passed around the four generations of family members there to meet him.
She was tired, but said that having the first baby of the new year was interesting, but different.
Kim Wienke, the youngest of five children, but the first of his siblings to be a great-grandfather, had just one word to describe how he was feeling.
“Old,” he laughed.
Anita said she was happy and a bit relieved that her granddaughter wasn’t under the same pressure she was under on the day her son was born in 1996.
“I had my son right before Nebraska was playing in the Fiesta Bowl,” she said. “The doctor said, 'We've got to have this baby before kickoff.'”
Anita successfully gave birth before the game, and the Huskers went on to beat the Florida Gators 62 to 24.