Wayne HealthCare delivers first Darke County baby of 2022


By Dawn Hatfield

GREENVILLE — Sandra Mae Sears, born to Sarah Penny and Payton Sears, entered the world as the first baby of 2022 delivered at Wayne HealthCare. The beautiful baby girl was born to the Eaton, Ohio, couple at 11:52 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2022.

Her proud mother said it is “very exciting” to welcome their daughter as the first baby of the new year and explained she was not at all expecting the birth to happen until they arrived at the hospital. Baby Sandra wasn’t due until Jan. 23 but was born three full weeks early. Despite her early arrival, she weighed 10 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 20.75 inches long.

Sarah had a very vivid dream featuring her late grandparents only two days before the gender reveal, which led to Sandra’s being named after her maternal great-grandmother. Had “she” been a “he,” the baby would have been named after paternal great-grandfather, Toby Alexander. The couple plans to save this name for future use as their family continues to grow.

The Penny-Sears family had planned a natural childbirth, but Sandra was delivered by Dr. Lachiewicz, DO, FACOG, via Cesarean due to her large size. Both mother and baby are doing well, and Sarah praised the hospital staff, saying, “Everybody here staff-wise has been super nice.” The family was also gifted a beautiful basket filled with baby items from the hospital Auxiliary, which is 120-active-members strong.

Not only is Sandra Mae the first local baby of 2022, but she is also the first New Year’s baby to ever be born in the Special Beginnings birthing center at Wayne HealthCare. The recent hospital expansion opened in March 2021, offering many special features, such as a new family viewing window in the c-section unit and 55-inch monitors in each room that can be used by patients to video chat with family members and friends. The monitors allow patients the comfort of having loved ones nearby even when hospitals are forced to restrict the number of visitors allowed. They also track patient data, which affords doctors an additional means of monitoring patients even beyond nursing staff updates.

With the hospital currently under tight COVID-19 restrictions, only Payton, the new father, was permitted in the hospital room. However, this did not stop their many friends and family members from congregating outside the couple’s hospital window, showing support for them, and cheering Sarah on. It was a momentous occasion for these happy, first-time parents.

Payton said he is most excited now for mother and baby to be discharged, so they can introduce Sandra Mae to the entire family.

Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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