Dublin Methodist Hospital's first-born is 10 years old

Ten years ago on Jan. 9, Chase Mantooth earned the honor of being the first baby born at Dublin Methodist Hospital. For a while that day though, his distinction wasn't a given.

A race of sorts was going on in the maternity ward, as Mantooth's mother, Angela, was preparing to give birth and another woman was also.

But Angela had a clear victory, giving birth to Chase four hours earlier than her competition.

"It made it a lot more fun," said Angela, a Pickerington resident. "It lightened the mood."

In 10 years' time, Chase has grown up to become a fourth-grader at Sycamore Creek Elementary School in the Pickerington Local School District.

And, in that time, Dublin Methodist's maternity ward has grown as well, steadily increasing the number of annual births since first opening in 2008.

Chase was one of 800 babies born during the hospital's first year. More than 2,100 babies were born at Dublin Methodist in 2017. Families commonly return to Dublin Methodist to give birth, said Sherrie Valentine, director of obstetrics and women's health.

When the hospital was designed 10 years ago, the goal was to move away from the typical sterile look, Valentine said.

Valentine equates the hospital's strong maternity care to its group of about 120 staff members.

"I think that's a huge, if not the biggest, part of our success," she said.

Angela went to Mount Carmel Hospital West to give birth to her and her husband Eddie's second child, Braden, now 13.

But when she was ready to deliver her third child, Angela said, she ended up following her obstetrician to Dublin Methodist.

The family was anxious to change hospitals, but excited to be a part of Dublin Methodist's history, she said.

"It was a great experience," she said.