Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 25, 2014

Burgmeier baby county’s first born in 2013

By DONNA SCHILL CLEVELAND, Ledger staff writer | Jan 08, 2013
PHOTO SUBMITTED Michelle and Joe Burgmeier of Lockridge never expected their newborn son would become the 2013 Jefferson County New Year’s Baby. William David Burgmeier arrived two weeks past his due date, at 9:57 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Van Buren County Hospital in Keosauqua. Michelle Burgmeier, pictured above, shows off her new son on Sunday at First Augustina Lutheran Church in Lockridge.

For Michelle and Joe Burgmeier, their blond-haired, blue-eyed new son is a testament that good things are worth waiting for.

William David Burgmeier, named the 2013 Jefferson County New Year’s Baby, arrived two weeks past his due date, born at 9:57 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Van Buren County Hospital in Keosauqua.

“He has a dimple like Joe has,” said Michelle Burgmeier of her 8-pound, 8-ounce and 20-inch long son.

Michelle and Joe Burgmeier live on a farmstead west of Lockridge, where he farms and she runs a veterinary practice, The Village Vet in Birmingham. She had read about Jefferson County’s New Year’s baby designation, coordinated by The Fairfield Ledger each year, but was convinced her due date, Dec. 21, took her out of the running.

“When I saw it in the paper, I didn’t think I’d go that long with the timeline the doctor gave me,” she said.

As the New Year grew closer each day, however, she realized it was a genuine possibility.

“As soon as New Year’s Eve hit, all of my friends texted me saying, ‘You should hold out for the New Year’s baby!” she said with a laugh.

Burgmeier had another reason to “hold out” as well. Her physician, Dr. Gary Lee of Van Buren County Hospital, left town for a few days with plans to return Jan. 2. Before he left, he offered to induce Burgmeier’s labor to ensure he delivered her baby, but she decided against it.

“I just wanted a healthy baby,” she said. “I didn’t want to induce.”

Lee returned the night before she went into labor.

“The timing worked out really well,” she said.

The couple chose not to learn the gender of the baby ahead of time, and had picked out a boy and girl name, both of which ran in the family.

“William is Joe’s grandpa’s name, and is my great-grandpa’s name,” she said. “David is my brother’s name.”

Michelle said she was convinced her baby was a girl, and would have named her Olivia Jean Marie. Jean Marie, she explained, is a common middle name on her side of the family.

For the fun of it, the couple tried old gender tests, such as tying her wedding ring on a string and having her husband dangle it over her belly. If the string moved in a line, it meant she’d have a boy, if a circle, a girl. She said the string formed what appeared to be a circle with a line through it.

“We tried every wives’ tail you could ever do, and it never gave a clear indicator,” she said.

William’s half-brother, Lucas, 3, and grandparents, Steve and Betty Burgmeier of Lockridge and Ron and Carole Pinney of Winfield came to visit the baby in the hospital Friday.

“Lucas was really good,” she said. “His grandpa asked if he was going to share his toys, and he said, ‘Here, you want to play with my tractor?’”

William’s place as the 2013 New Year’s baby will be a fun piece of memorabilia for her family, she said.

“I’m sure we’ll get a clipping and put it in his book,” she said.

Each year, The Ledger declares a New Year’s baby and gives the parents a letter authorizing them to pick up gifts donated by participating Fairfield businesses. This year’s gifts include gift cards to Fairfield Hy-Vee Food & Drug Store and Walmart, a certificate to open a savings account for the baby at First National Bank, a photo frame, lullaby CD, toys, books, a Ledger subscription and more.

The Jefferson County Health Center Auxiliary also makes a quilt for the New Year’s baby every year. The group’s gift to William is a rag quilt featuring brightly colored hearts, stars and moons.

Last year’s New Year’s baby was Magnus Saxon, son of Marcus and Shanti Chatfield of rural Jefferson County. The 7-pound, 1.7-ounce baby was born at 3:15 a.m. Jan. 10 at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

June Irene Lebert, the daughter of Meagan and Christopher Lebert of Fairfield, was born early on New Year’s Day 2011 at the Ottumwa Regional Health Center in Ottumwa. The 6-pound, 8-ounce, 19.75-inch baby was the third child for the couple.

Jefferson County’s 2010 New Year’s baby was Abbigail Elizabeth Beggs, the daughter of Melissa Beggs of Fairfield and Thomas Batterson. The 9-pound, 14-ounce baby was born at 12:14 p.m. Jan. 13 at Ottumwa Regional Health Center.

The 2009 New Year’s baby was Addisyn Ann Koontz, the daughter of Stacia Verrips and Shane Koontz of Libertyville. She was born at 1:15 a.m. Jan. 4 at Ottumwa Regional Health Center and weighed 7 pounds, 10.5 ounces.

The 2008 New Year’s baby was Serenity Maurine Pisano, the daughter of Brenda and Jim Pisano of Pleasant Plain. The 6-pound, 15-ounce, baby was born at 4:23 p.m. Jan. 9 at Ottumwa Regional Health Center.

In 2007, the New Year’s baby was Anthony Joseph Smithburg, the 9-pound, 9-ounce son of Megan and Erik Smithburg of Libertyville, born by cesarean section at 11:51 a.m. Jan. 4 at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The 2006 New Year’s baby was Briana Lynn Steele, the daughter of Carrie and Jason Steele of Fairfield, born at 11:18 p.m. Jan. 4 at Ottumwa Regional Health Center.

Collin Jeffery Putnam, the son of Tonya and Ahrim “Strider” Putnam of Fairfield, made his way into the world at 11:14 a.m. Jan. 1 at Ottumwa Regional Health Center becoming Jefferson County’s 2005 New Year’s baby.

It was the 2004 New Year’s baby who stretched the wait out for two weeks. Caden Albert Septer, the son of Brandy and Chad Septer of Fairfield, was born at 9:15 p.m. Jan. 14 at Ottumwa Regional Health Center.

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