Ethan Elroy Mumme was born three weeks early and four minutes late.
The 6-pound, 15-ounce infant joined the world Dec. 12, 2012, at 12:16 p.m.: 12-12-12-16, three weeks before his mom’s due date.
“We never thought it would happen today,” mom Dana Mumme said at Tacoma General Hospital on Wednesday.
If Ethan was going to come early, she said, she’s glad it was on a special day, and before Christmas.
Both mom and baby were healthy and smiling.
“We weren’t panicking too bad,” dad Dan Mumme said with a laugh, recalling their early-morning drive from Gig Harbor, where they moved from Salt Lake City about five months ago.
That might be because he’s a cardiothoracic surgeon with MultiCare.
He said the special date crossed his mind on the drive, but it was the nurses who got the couple excited about having a 12-12-12 baby.
They told Dana it would take roughly two hours to push, and she started about 10 a.m. That’s when the Mummes realized a noon-hour baby was possible.
“There’s a lot of talk about the babies born on these special days, and they like to get into that and talk with the families,” Tricia Sharp, manager of prenatal services at Tacoma General, said about the nurses. She has spent about 20 of her 30 years at the hospital working with babies.
Tacoma General had 13 births as of late Wednesday, 12 of those on the day shift, with Ethan being the closest to 12:12 p.m. The hospital sees an average of eight to nine deliveries a day.
Madigan Army Medical Center, which has the same average, didn’t have any births as of late Wednesday afternoon, and didn’t have any scheduled for the rest of the day.
MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup had two newborns by 6 p.m. and expected two more. MultiCare Auburn Medical Center had three babies and expected two more before midnight.
St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma had five deliveries as of late Wednesday, and St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way had three.
A baby girl in Boston was born at the coveted 12:12 p.m. Wednesday.
“They decide when they want to come out,” Sharp said. “On days like this, I like to think that they realize this is a special day that they want to be born on.”
One way or another, Ethan was going to make his birthday a special one.
His mom’s original due date?
New Year’s Day.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268
The Associated Press contributed to this report.