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Earlier-Than-Expected Birth Delivers Newtown's First Baby 2016



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Miho Wildgust was uploading music to her iPod around 3 am New Year’s Day. Due to deliver her first child around the middle of January, she figured she would spend some time getting ready for a trip to the hospital that wasn’t expected to take place for a couple of weeks.

Then her water broke.

“There was a lot of movement from him on New Year’s Eve,” Miho said January 7. “I was worried something was wrong.”

She and her husband Paul already knew that they would be welcoming a son.

“We knew what we were having,” said Paul. “The surprise was that he was two weeks early.”

What they also didn’t know was that the baby’s birth about 14 hours later would result in more than an early arrival by their first child. When Henry Wildgust was born at 5:34 pm Friday, January 1, at Danbury Hospital, the baby also became Newtown’s First Baby 2016. Dr Mary Ellen May of Candlewood Center for Women’s Health Physicians was the attending physician.

Henry’s delivery “was fine,” reported his father. The family went home on January 3.

The biggest challenge in recent days, said Paul, was getting Henry to eat.

“We’re just trying to get him into a routine,” said Miho.

“We’re working well though,” added Paul, smiling at his wife seated on a sofa next to him in a bright, window-filled room of the couple’s home. To the left of Miho’s feet, Henry slept soundly in a sleeper/rocker, swaddled in a pair of striped pajamas. Over the pajamas he was also wearing a knit hoodie made for him by his mother.

“We’re a good team,” Miho said, smiling back at her husband.

Outside a patio door the family dog, Sasha, patiently waited to be let back inside. A 5½-year-old hound mix, Sasha has done well with the new addition to the family, said Paul.

“Sometimes he’ll sniff at Henry, and then he just walks away,” he said.

Miho and Paul were married in August 2014 in England. The couple lived in Cincinnati before moving to Newtown in April 2015.

“We love this place,” Miho said. The stone walls and hills, they said, remind them of England.

It was shortly after their move last year that the Wildgusts learned Miho was expecting. She has been on a break from her career as a speech language pathologist since the move; Paul is a chemical engineer at Duracell in Bethel.

They are, said Paul, “a bit of an international family.” Paul is from England, while Miho hails from Japan.

Henry’s maternal grandparents are Fumiaki Oya and Hideko Oya, both of Japan.

His paternal grandmother is Kathleen Wildgust of Wales, UK.

Henry is the first grandchild for Miho’s parents, and one of a few for his father’s parents.

His cousins are all quite a distance away, unfortunately. Paul has many brothers and sisters, but the closest brother lives in Canada.

“The far side of Canada, of course,” he said, laughing.

The Wildgusts subscribe to their hometown paper, so they had seen a mention in a recent issue about The Bee’s long-running First Baby Contest, they said Thursday afternoon. Between Henry’s birth, the return home and the first hectic days of caring for a newborn, they had not had time to read the issue of January 1, 2016. That issue included a nearly two-page spread of advertisements announcing this year’s prize package — special gifts, items, and offers contributed by local businesses.

When they opened that week’s paper to the First Baby spread, they were very surprised at what they saw.

With Paul gently cradling Henry in his arms, the Wildgusts took a quick glance at the paper. Then Paul walked his wife and son toward the living room, where he placed his sleeping son back into his carrier.

The Prize Package

As has been the tradition for decades, Miho and Paul Wildgust will receive a collection of congratulatory gifts from a number of local merchants in honor of their being parents of Newtown’s First Baby.

Donated gifts for the 56th Annual First Baby Contest include a European facial at Avancé Esthétiques, $100 off a clean-up container or weekly trash service from Associated Refuse Haulers, a $30 gift certificate from Barnwood Grill, dinner for two at Blue Colony Diner, a $20 gift certificate from Byrd’s Books of Bethel, a pound of coffee from Café Xpresso, a $50 gift card from Chintz-N-Prints of Newtown, Inc, a cheesecake from DOrazio Sisters Cheesecakes & Goodies, ten movie passes to Edmond Town Hall Theatre, dinner for Miho and Paul from the Pasta Specialty Menu at Franco’s Pizza & Pasta, a haircut and color for Miho and haircut and shave for Paul at Frank’s Unisex Styling, Monroe; a $25 gift certificate from Hollandia Nurseries in Bethel, two one-hour personal training sessions for Miho at Joanne’s Fitness Studio, a $25 gift certificate from McGuire’s Ale House, and breakfast for Miho and Paul at My Place Pizza & Restaurant.

Also, a one-year renewal on their subscription to The Newtown Bee, an oil change from Newtown Car Care Center, a $25 gift certificate from Newtown Color Center, a $50 gift card from Newtown Hardware, a $25 starter savings account at Newtown Savings Bank, a $20 gift certificate from Nick’s Restaurant & Catering in Danbury, an oil change at NJK Sunoco, a large cheese pizza from Papa Al’s Pizza-Pasta-Subs, a gift box of six baby socks from Queen Street Gifts & Treats, a swaddle blanket from The Quilt Shop, a $100 gift certificate toward carpet cleaning from Red Baron Carpet, a hand knitted baby blanket from The Sheep Shoppe, a $25 gift card from Simply Baby & Kids, a $20 gift certificate from Tambascio’s Italian Grill, a $50 gift certificate from UK Gourmet, and a gift bottle of Roeder Estate Brut Champagne from Yankee Wine & Spirits.

Paul Wildgust kneels down to pick up his son Henry on January 7, four days after the newborn and his mother arrived home after the baby’s birth.
Henry Wildgust was born just 17½ hours into the new year, earning him the title of Newtown’s First Baby 2016. He is joined in this photo by his proud parents, Miho and Paul. 
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