2024’s first baby comes out fighting right after midnight

Broden Michael Culpepper arrived 40 seconds after midnight Jan. 1 as our Family Birth Center’s first baby of 2024.

Broden started life as a fighter, said his dad, Jonathan. “He wasn’t breathing, he was at fifty percent oxygen, so I just started to panic,” he said.

“It felt like forever, but it took about 30 seconds of intubation to clear out phlegm and rubbing to bring oxygen levels up,” said mom Patricia, crediting both birth and NICU teams.

“They’re all amazing and NICU staff were already there in the room to help! We just sat and prayed,” she said, noting an earlier symptom alerted them to be there — just in case.

Broden was due Jan. 4, but they were pushing for a 2023 “tax baby” at the last minute (literally) when labor started early. They’d gone out to dinner when Jonathan noticed Patricia checking her watch after grimacing every two to three minutes. He knew it was time. The dinner she ordered is still in the fridge.

As Salem Hospital’s first baby's family, the Culpeppers received a gift basket and blanket embroidered with “First Baby of 2024.”

More fun family facts:

  • Broden weighed 6 pounds, 11.6 ounces; 18.5 inches long.
  • In six hours, Patricia went from 1 to 10 centimeters at birth, compared to three days for their 9-year-old daughter Brooke.
  • Brooke chose her brother’s name. Every night as Patricia’s belly grew, she gave him a hug and kiss. She’s known as “mother Brooke” at school and is already taking care of everyone. “You need water, mom!”
  • Brooke is blonde with blue eyes, both parents have dark hair; Patricia’s eyes are blue, Jon’s are brown. Broden was born with an almost-full head of dark hair. “The Culpepper genes have it all!” Patricia laughed.
  • Patricia is a medical assistant for Kaiser Permanente; Jon works for an excavation contractor in Silverton.
  • The family goes by “PB&J” (Peanut Butter & Jelly). Not on purpose -- just happened when Patricia and Jon had Brooke. Naturally, the next family member’s name had to start with a B or J. If Broden had been a girl, he’d be Juniper.
  • As it stands now, they’re PBs&J.