Catonsville boy is Maryland's first baby of '95

January 02, 1995|By JoAnna Daemmrich | JoAnna Daemmrich,Sun Staff Writer

Fame was thrust upon Benjamin C. Meyer yesterday at the very beginning of his life.

Born in the first half hour of 1995, he became a celebrity as the first Maryland baby born in the new year. Howard County General Hospital rolled out the red carpet to celebrate his arrival. Television camera crews surrounded him as he slept in his mother's arms.

"We didn't expect this," said Tracee Meyer, the child's mother.

"He's about 10 days early," she said. "Up until the point he was born, we didn't know if he was going to be the last baby [of 1994] or the first of the new year."

Benjamin emerged to stake his claim in the state's annual first-born contest 22 minutes after midnight.

His closest rival, Amanda Brooke Brennan, the daughter of Kathleen and Kevin Brennan, was born at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis an hour later. And Baltimore's Union Memorial Hospital came close with a baby girl born five minutes before midnight.

Benjamin's father, Mark Meyer, said he and Mrs. Meyer chose their son's name because it means a "gift of God." Weighing in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces, Benjamin turned out to be a healthy, contented gift.

He was wide awake at first, but slumbered throughout much of the ensuing media onslaught and hospital festivities.

"He's off to a good start," said Mr. Meyer, a car mechanic in Laurel. His wife is a secretary at a dental office in Laurel.

Asked if they have great expectations of their son, Mr. Meyer shook his head and said, "We just want him to grow up to be himself."

But Benjamin's half-sister, Chrystal Ford, 18, said she would be happy if he grew up to be a professional baseball player, preferably with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Meyers, who live in Catonsville, were taking down Christmas ornaments after dinner New Year's Eve when Benjamin signaled he was ready to greet the world. They drove to the hospital in Columbia about 10 p.m. Dr. Ruth Dyal delivered him a couple hours later.

Howard County General bought flowers and a filet mignon dinner for the couple last night to celebrate. After all, even though he was followed by other babies as 1995 began to unfold, Benjamin was the first.

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