Photo provided by Leah Swearingen                                Parents Leah Swearingen and Christian Carter with baby Eli Cassius Carter Jan. 8 in Friday Harbor.

Photo provided by Leah Swearingen Parents Leah Swearingen and Christian Carter with baby Eli Cassius Carter Jan. 8 in Friday Harbor.

Friday Harbor couple welcomes first Whidbey baby of 2020

Whidbey Island’s first baby of the new year was born to parents from a different island.

Leah Swearingen and her husband Christian Carter, both residents of Friday Harbor, welcomed their baby boy a mere two hours into the new year at the Greenbank Birth Center.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, Eli Cassius Carter made his first appearance into the world, weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring 20 and a half inches long.

“He shot out of my body like a rocket,” Swearingen said with a laugh.

The couple from San Juan Island had chosen the Greenbank Birth Center, rather than a hospital, citing its highly recommended midwives.

“Part of the appeal of the birth center is that it’s like a beautiful cabin in the woods on Whidbey Island, which is kind of a romantic place to give birth,” Swearingen said.

Swearingen said midwife Cynthia Jaffe helped her to have a spectacular birthing experience and stuck with her the whole time.

While visiting Whidbey Island, the couple stayed in Coupeville, marveled at the size of Langley’s feral domesticated rabbit population and spent hours walking around Oak Harbor to encourage labor.

“The weather was terrible and everyone kept telling me to walk,” Swearingen said, “so we walked around in Walmart for five hours,”

Eli is the couple’s first child, arriving after 24 hours of labor. Although his due date was Dec. 27, Swearingen is glad he “made it over the hump” and avoided the fate of being a Christmas baby.

“I thought he was going to be born in 2019, but I’m kind of grateful because he scored a really cool birthday,” she said.

More in News

Deputies negotiate surrender of knife-wielding suspect

Deputies negotiated the peaceful surrender of an assault suspect who refused to leave his car.

Superintendent contract renewed

The South Whidbey School Board renewed Superintendent Josephine Moccia’s three-year contract.

Langley mandates employee vaccines

All city employees of Langley will soon need to follow a new vaccination rule.

Parks and Rec District will ask for levy lift

The South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District will ask for an increase in its operations levy.

South Whidbey schools levy set for February ballot

The South Whidbey School Board is seeking a replacement levy that decreases the property tax rate.

Hillside development agreement approved

A developer and the city of Oak Harbor finalized a unique agreement.

Infrastructure bill will help ferry system stay afloat

President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure act will help fund ferries in Washington state.

Holiday celebrations galore coming to Langley

The Lighting of Langley, an annual tree-lighting ceremony, will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27.

South Whidbey vaccine clinic thrives without electricity

The Coupeville clinic did not yield the same high turnout as those in South Whidbey and Oak Harbor.

Most Read