On Tuesday at 4:11 p.m., Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital welcomed its first baby of 2017.
Atlas Theadore Moorefield was born to Sabrina Shumate and Robert Moorefield, weighing 5 pounds, 9 ounces, and measuring 19 inches. Although nearly missing the birth after stepping outside for a moment, the family returned just in time for everyone to be present as Dr. Natasha Spencer and Registered Nurse Haley White delivered Atlas Theadore.
“I was there when [Tyler] was born,” said Moorefield, beaming with pride in his sons. Although Moorefield chose Tyler’s name, Shumate has selected the names for the other boys conscientiously choosing names that not only fit them, but were strong and unusual.
A family tradition of filial involvement, brothers Zetheus (13), Leo (7), and Tyler (4) were also in the birthing suite, though Tyler spent the few critical moments in the attached bathroom waiting his turn to see his younger brother for the first time. “I’m happily glad [to be a big brother],” declared Leo.
Tyler agreed saying, “I’m two excited,” using his fingers to express his exact quantity of excitement.
Oldest brother Zetheus, who had been allowed to give Leo his first bath when he was born, easily stepped into his care-giving role, monitoring the younger boys and guiding them in their excitement.
The younger brothers were almost as excited about the gifts the hospital presented to the family as they were about their new brother. A blue giraffe was a particular favorite from among the various baby gifts donated by the Hugh Chatham Hospital Gift Shop.
Shumate was comfortable with the eager chaos of her boys. “I’ve got the hang of it,” said Shumate, revealing how the family dynamics flowed in a household that includes three friendly pitbulls. “Each of the boys takes one and gets them to do a trick for a treat,” explained Shumate, who appreciates the distraction large dogs can be to energetic boys.
A member of a large family herself, Shumate looks forward to having a kindergartner just as her oldest is graduating high school. “The boys were playing basketball [with uncles and other family members] and I was thinking how, in a few years, Leo and Tyler would be playing while Atlas Theadore will be the one running around chasing the ball,” contemplated Shumate, pointing out the similar age ranges in her boys as she had in her family growing up.
“We hoped for a girl,” confessed Shumate, “but we are so happy with our healthy boy.” Although Shumate hinted she might consider trying for a girl again in the future, a look from Moorefield caused her to laughingly reconsider.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.