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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on January 03, 2018

A promise kept: The first baby of the year in Georgetown County

Pregnant and due to deliver on Jan. 23, Amy Connaughton told her co-workers at the Gulfstream Cafe she’d keep working until her water broke.

She wasn’t kidding.

Amy was filling out paperwork at the Garden City restaurant on Sunday afternoon when, to her shock, she made good on her commitment. At about 2 p.m., her water broke, prompting an immediate call to James, her husband of seven years.Amy Connaughton, her husband, James and son, Cooper

At the time, with the baby’s due date still three weeks off, James was at their Murrells Inlet home washing clothes and packing bags for their eventual trip to the hospital.

“That was pure panic - I was not expecting the phone call that day,” he said. “I started running in circles trying to pack the two bags. I wound up at that point just throwing things in the bag and heading to the hospital.”

Meanwhile, a co-worker took Amy to Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital where, at 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, Amy delivered Cooper Reid Connaughton, the couple’s first child and the first baby born in a Georgetown County hospital in 2018. He weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces and stretched 19 inches long.

“When he arrived, it was just pure excitement and joy that we created this adorable little boy,” Amy said. “It was just love at first sight. I know it’s cliché, but it really was.”

After initially rushing to the hospital with a mish-mash of things in the couple’s bags, James was able to return home before Cooper was born to make sure the couple had everything they needed.

“It was moments of happiness and tears at the same time,” he said of the birth. “It was very overwhelming.”

While they waited for Amy’s labor to progress, the couple discussed the idea of having the first baby of the year in the United States, Amy said. Though they didn’t succeed (a woman in Guam reportedly delivered a child two seconds after midnight), Amy did find that eating spicy foods seemed to help the delivery process along.

“My last meal was a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich,” she said, chuckling. “After I ate that, labor did really progress – all of a sudden it just started going.”


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 70 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.