1,000 new people arrive in Texas every day. Half are newborns.
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SAN ANTONIO – Every three minutes a child is born somewhere in Texas.
At a North Texas hospital, 107 babies gave birth in 96 hours this summer, shattering local records. In a San Antonio hospital, more than 1,200 babies were born this year, up nearly 30% from 2018.
In one of the nation’s fastest growing states, an average of 1,000 new Texans arrive every day. Half of them are newborns.
“Our population is increasing. So, just with that, I would expect our birth rates to go up, ”said Shad Deering, department director at San Antonio Children’s Hospital. “We will get very busy.”
We spent a day last month with Dr. Deering and his team and witnessed the arrival of several new residents to the Lone Star State.
Stefanie Garcia-DeLeon was eager to hear from her newborn baby when the machines she was connected to reported that something was wrong. More than a dozen men and women in smocks rushed into her room.
But nine minutes later, all worry has evaporated. Mrs. Garcia pushed, and a little girl gave a loud cry. The room burst into cheers and laughter.
Ten minutes later, Serafina’s small eyes scanned her mother’s face and all the hospital equipment around her. “She’s so small, but she already has a great curiosity,” Ms. Garcia said.
Statewide, a baby boom has been fueled by newcomers from states like California and New York, drawn by lower living costs, less crowded schools, and cheaper taxes. Many of them are starting their own families in the process, experts said.
“We have a higher proportion of the population of reproductive age,” said Lloyd Potter, state demographer and professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Between 2010 and 2020, the state’s population grew by four million, or the entire population of neighboring Oklahoma. Babies made up the largest number of newcomers to Texas (about 48%), with migrants from other states (31%) and countries (21%) making up the rest.
And the hospitals are trying to keep up.
“It hasn’t slowed down,” said Michelle Stemley, vice president of patient care at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, which broke its four-day delivery record this summer.
The surge in births comes against a backdrop of falling birth rates nationwide. Couples have waited longer to have children, a trend that continued during the coronavirus pandemic and an uncertain economy, Potter said.
But a spike in pregnancy test sales – a 13% increase since June of last year – may signal a so-called millennial baby boom could be on the horizon, Nielsen data and research show. from the Bank of America.
Many longtime Texans are contributing to the rise in the number of tiny new residents.
Amanda Ramos, 32, mother of two, did not expect to have a third. Ms Ramos was using an intrauterine device for birth control when doctors told her she had an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when the fertilized egg implants in tissue outside the uterus. .
After surgery to remove the left tube from her uterus, she learned that she was still pregnant. Eventually, in the children’s hospital, Mateo Chris was born by Caesarean section after doctors found he was pointing in the wrong direction and couldn’t be born naturally.
Mrs. Ramos was firmly holding her baby, whose first name means “blessing from God.”
“He’s a miracle baby,” she said. “My miracle baby.” ??
Oliver Noteware, 34, and Kathryn Adkins, 33, grew up in Houston and attended the same elementary school. They lost sight of each other for two decades but reconnected in New York City, where they met on the streets of downtown Manhattan.
As the coronavirus ravaged the city, they decided, like thousands of others, to try their luck elsewhere. They settled in San Antonio, where southern customs made it easier for them to meet new people. “We know our neighbors here,” she said.
That day, Esme Tallulah, all 7 lbs 7 ounces, joined them.
Mr Noteware, who was also celebrating his birthday, held his sleeping daughter on his exposed chest to bond with her, as an exhausted Ms Adkins looked at her fondly from her hospital bed. After 12 hours of work, she was more than happy. “I feel a lot more connection with her now than I was when she was in the womb,” she said.
Mr Noteware and Ms Adkins have said they are up for the challenges of parenting. When their baby gave a soft cry after a nurse pierced her foot for a blood sample, the new mother didn’t miss a thing. “You are going to feel a lot more pain in your life,” Ms. Adkins said with a bittersweet smile.
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