Ruskin woman gives birth to new hospital’s first baby

Published on: February 11, 2015

Emma Delva arrived at noon on Thursday, Feb. 5, 77 hours after the hospital first opened its doors.  St. Joseph's South photos.

Emma Delva arrived at noon on Thursday, Feb. 5, 77 hours after the hospital first opened its doors.
St. Joseph’s South photos.

By KEVIN BRADY

No matter what else she achieves in life — doctor, teacher, president of the United States — Emma Delva will always be No. 1.

Emma was the first baby born at the new St. Joseph’s Hospital South, arriving just three days after the $237-million facility opened on Simmons Loop in Riverview.

“I had no idea the hospital would be open so soon,” said Emma’s mom, Nikita, a Ruskin resident. “We found out a few days before I went into labor. I was in a lot of pain, so it seemed like a no-brainer to go to the new hospital, which is closer to my house.”

The excitement about the first arrival at St. Joseph’s seemed to infect everyone at the hospital from nurses and doctors to the security guards, Nikita said. “Everyone was excited and super nice, kind and genuine, so that was one of the things that we truly enjoyed about it,” Nikita said.

Ten hours of labor didn’t bother Nikita. This is her third girl. “Between the nurses and doctors, it felt like more of a hotel stay,” she said. “Everyone was calm and it didn’t really feel like I was in labor.”

Walking the halls of the hospital before she gave birth to help coach Emma along, Nikita said she enjoyed the views and comforting décor in the maternity wing. “All the pictures and natural light I liked,” she said. “I like any kind of natural remedy, and I think they executed that very well.”

Proud mom and dad hold baby Emma, the first baby born at the new St. Joseph’s South Hospital in Riverview.

Proud mom and dad hold baby Emma, the first baby born at the new St. Joseph’s South Hospital in Riverview.

Nikita was surprised when she learned she might be having the first baby at the hospital. “Everyone was genuinely excited, and I just appreciated that.”

As the first baby born at St. Joseph’s, baby Emma and her mom received a pink gift basket. The first boy born at the hospital will receive a blue gift basket. The first 100 babies born at the hospital will receive a tote bag.

St. Joseph’s Mother/Baby Unit includes 14 beds with private rooms to accommodate mother, baby and family. A 10-bassinet nursery will also be available.  Equipped with 112 beds, the 360,000-square-foot hospital offers 20 separate medical services including emergency, orthopedics, labor and delivery, a cardiac catherization lab and surgical suites.

St. Joseph’s, part of the BayCare Health System, is the sister hospital to St. Joseph’s Hospital North in Lutz. Many of the lessons in patient care and comfort learned there were implemented at the new hospital.

For more information on volunteering or employment opportunities, visit BayCare on the Web at www.baycare.org/SJH-South.

An orientation tour for learning more about the hospital is also planned for March. Visit the hospital website for more information.

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