Schneck’s New Year’s baby now at home

Like many others, Maria Francisco Diego spent time with family celebrating the new year.

Around 2 a.m. New Year’s Day, however, the 28-year-old Seymour woman experienced some pain.

Even though she was pregnant, she didn’t think it was labor because the baby wasn’t supposed to be born until Jan. 6.

She kept having pain, so she decided to go to Schneck Medical Center to get checked out. She arrived around 7 a.m.

At 11:19 a.m., her baby girl, Hazel Gisell Gaspar Francisco, was born. She weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces and was 19 inches long.

“When they got there, she was admitted, she kept having contractions, she was the only one in labor at that time and then she delivered at around 11 a.m.,” said one of Schneck’s translators, Nohemi Hilderbrand, who was in the room to interpret for the nurses and doctor. “She only pushed once. It was unbelievable.”

Maria was happy to give birth to her third child, but she had no idea it would be the first one born at the Seymour hospital in the new year. The nurses told her she was the only one in labor at that time, and no other babies had been born earlier that day.

“I was very excited. I started crying. I was very happy, of course,” Francisco Diego said. “I wasn’t ready for the baby. I thought it would be on the 6th, but it was something for sure very special and unique, and it’s something that probably won’t happen again to me.”

That’s because she said she’s done after having three children. Her other kids are Brandon, 7, and Astrid, 4.

Big brother and big sister were excited about the new arrival, too.

“They are very happy that she is with them,” Francisco Diego said.

When asked if Hazel is spoiled yet, Mom laughed and said, “Si,” which translates to “Yes” in English.

“We love her so much, first of all, and she is definitely going to be the best thing that has happened to us in 2023,” she said. “We are very thankful to Schneck, the hospital staff, for the way they treated us and just took care of us and tended to us so well.”

As far as choosing the name for their baby, Francisco Diego said the father researched and chose names that mean “warrior” and “light.”

“He just liked the meaning of it,” she said.

Francisco Diego said she’s originally from Guatemala and has lived in Seymour for four years.

Given the large Hispanic population in Seymour, Hilderbrand said she and the other translators often make their way to the obstetric unit at Schneck.

“We have so many Hispanic women delivering, and we’ll probably have at least three or four deliveries a week,” she said.

There are four translators on staff: Two full time, one part time and one PRN. Hilderbrand is one of the full-time translators and has been at Schneck since 2014. She said she has been an interpreter since she was 7.

Being there for a mother and her family as well as nurses and doctors is a unique experience.

“It’s just special just to be with them, and I get to talk to them when the nurses can’t or the doctor’s can’t,” Hilderbrand said. “I get to talk to them on a more personal level. The nurses do that and they feel the connection, but I get to do that with them and it’s very special. Then later on, they’ll come back and if their baby is sick or something, they remember me and they’re like, ‘You were there when my baby was born, and you helped me.’”

Hazel is the first New Year’s baby for Hilderbrand to see be born, so that will always be a special bond.