by JORDAN AUBEY
During the month of December, newborns at Saint John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin are given a Christmas stocking and red hat to help get them in the holiday cheer. The gifts are made by volunteers at St. John's.
"We just love our Auxiliary and are so appreciative that they do this every year for us," says Kathy Cowley, a nurse for 16 years at the hospital. "The material, everything that they do, it all comes out of fundraisers that they do, and then they take the time to sew them and make those for our babies. And our moms and dads just love taking their babies home in their Christmas stockings. It means a lot to them."
Hannah Hill was born at 8:56 p.m. on December 21.
"It's definitely special," says Hannah's mother, Jessica, both of Joplin. "It's all around the holidays, and the family and - born on the first day of winter."
Hannah, at 8 pounds 12 ounces, is Jessica's first child.
"I actually did really, really good, she was awesome," Jessica says. "I didn't put on too much weight, just 30 pounds. Towards the end, I guess the last week or so, I was ready for her to get out of here."
Hannah tried on her Christmas outfit on Thursday.
"You get to have your baby when we're celebrating the birth of Christ and it's very special to ladies," says Nurse Cowley. "Our Auxiliary started it when we first opened the unit, 16 years ago. They made Christmas stockings that are large enough to put the baby in. And then the nurses decided that that wasn't good enough, so we do that pretty paint, and we decorate them, put the baby's name of it and fancy it all up."
"They had it all personally made for her, whenever we got here, and a little hat to go with it," says Jessica.
During our visit with Hannah and her family, we were told seven other newborns were just down the hallway, and two more were just about to make their grand entrance.
Chances are, there is plenty of pride to go around.
"I was nervous," Jessica says. "But I'm happy and excited and happy that she's here for the holidays, though."