Jasper - 10 pounds, 4 ounces - is first baby born in new Family, Mother and Baby Center

By Kristy Bleizeffer Nov 3, 2014

Jessica Dallaram holds baby Jasper as XXXXXXXX looks on. Jasper was the first baby born in the Ruth R. Ellbogen Family, Mother and Baby Center, arriving by C-section at XXXX a.m. Sunday. The center opened to patients on Sunday.

Jessica Dallman holds baby Jasper Dutch Dunlap as father Jeff Dunlap  looks on. Jasper was the first baby born in the Ruth R. Ellbogen Family, Mother and Baby Center, arriving by C-section at 11:39 a.m. Sunday. The center opened to patients on Sunday.

Jasper XXXXX Dunlap weighed 10 pounds, 4 ounces when he was born on Sunday.

Jasper Dutch Dunlap weighed 10 pounds, 4 ounces when he was born on Sunday.

Jasper Dutch Dunlap is a perfect blend of Mom and Dad. He's got his dad's stocky build and broad shoulders and his mother's ears and cheeks.

"My sister has those cheeks too. His cheeks are so chunky that it makes it hard for him to open his eyes," said mom Jessica Dallman.

Jasper, born by C-section at 11:39 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, was the first baby born in the Ruth R Ellbogen Family, Mother and Baby Center, Wyoming Medical Center's new obstetrics unit on the third floor of the McMurry West Tower. The unit officially opened at 7 a.m. Sunday, and nurses began moving mothers and babies from the old unit to the new.

"As soon as we left for the operation, they moved all of our stuff over to the new side," Dad Jeff Dunlap said. "We're just happy he’s out and mama’s OK."

Other hospital services -- including the Chapel, Diamond Coffee Shop and the Market Place -- moved into the new tower last week. Surgical patients will move to the Jerry Behrens MD Orthopaedic, Spine and General Surgery Center on Nov. 9.  (Click here to read more about navigating the new tower.)

Jennifer Cockrum, registered nurse and education coordinator, has worked at Wyoming Medical Center for 23 years and this is her first new unit.  With everyone coming and going, the floor looked like an anthill, she said.

"We love it. It is phenomenal," she said. "A couple of nurses who were working here yesterday, and who've been here a long time, got a little tearful about closing the chapters on our old unit. It was a little bittersweet."

The new unit features a Level II nursery, an extra labor room, a dedicated operating room and all-private rooms with space for families to stretch out and bond with mother and baby. There is a waiting room and bathrooms inside the secured unit so whole families can feel more connected to the process. The nursery has three rooms to give more privacy to families whose babies need extra care -- like Jasper.

"The floor offers more efficiency as well," Cockrum said. "We set it up to decrease nurses' steps so they could spend more time at the bedside. We're really excited to show off our new unit and to show off what we can do as a nursing group for obstetrics."

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Jasper didn't come easily. Jessica and Jeff had planned to marry in August, but found out they were pregnant on St. Patrick's Day. Two days later, Jessica's fitted wedding dress came in. They decided to hold the wedding until this spring.

Soon after, Jessica developed complications and had to stay home most of the pregnancy. Jasper was originally due Nov. 22, but mom developed a kidney infection and other complications, and Jasper was delivered by C-section. He went to the new nursery  where he was given oxygen and an IV. Mom and dad didn't get to hold him until after mom recovered from the surgery.

"I've never been first at anything," Jessica said. "I didn't even think I could have babies, and then this happened."

"We feel very blessed," Jeff added.

With his dad's build, Jessica thinks he'll be a football player or a wrestler. Dad says he'll be president.

But first, they'll have to get him home. And with those adorable chunky cheeks, that might be easier said than done.

Said nurse Jennifer: "He's awesome and we just might keep him."

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