Erica Pearl Brown is the 2016 New Year’s baby in Sampson County, born at Sampson Regional Medical Center as the sun set Jan. 1 to proud parents Eric and Terrie — and a beaming big brother Ryder.
Weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring 21 inches long, Erica Pearl came into the world at 5:35 p.m. on Jan. 1. Erica is named after her father and her great-great grandmother, Mary Pearl Prease Moore.
Erica is Eric and Terrie’s second child. Son Ryder is 2 1/2 years old, and after months of talking about Erica Pearl (the name was picked out long before birth), he finally got to meet his little sister.
“Even during my pregnancy, he would refer to her as Erica Pearl, and it was sweet because he says it with an accent,” his mother said. “I didn’t know how that was going to change after she got here, but he is just so in love with her. He’s real easy with her and is a very proud big brother.”
Terrie made Ryder a shirt that read “Little Racer, Big Brother,” which the 2-year-old wears with immense pride.
“He is just so proud when I give him anything that says he’s a big brother,” she said.
The couple actually went to Sampson Regional at around 7:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve and Erica Pearl did not arrive until about 22 hours later. It was a long labor, as it was with Ryder, Terrie noted. Even with Erica born late in the day Jan. 1, she was still the first at Sampson Regional.
“The nurses said ‘you might have the New Year’s baby,’” Terrie recalled. “I said ‘no way’ because she wasn’t born until almost 6 that evening. We were actually there the night before. We were in the hospital by ourselves all day, and she told me that she was the New Year’s baby for Sampson.”
During her labor, Terrie was accompanied by husband Eric and her niece, Monica Baldwin. She acknowledged her doctor, Dr. Teresa Birchard of Goshen Medical Clinic, as well as the nurses who supported her during her labor and delivery, including Jackie Brown, Brooke Warren Foley and Heather Testerman.
“It means a lot when you’re going through something like that to have good nurses by your side,” sad
A Sampson native, Terrie is married to Eric, who is from Whiteville. The couple live in Clinton and both work for Butterball LLC, Terrie as a business analyst and Eric as maintenance engineer for the Turkey feed mill.
Terrie said having Erica was an amazing way to ring in the New Year, but there was some not-so-great news for the family. Terrie’s mother was diagnosed with shingles around the same time and cannot be around her new granddaughter until the illness subsides.
“She’s been told that she can’t be around the baby for possibly six to eight weeks,” Terrie said.
In a new chapter of firsts, it also gives the family another landmark moment to look forward to — when granddaughter and grandmother can be together.
“That’s the only thing we’re dealing with that is kind of hard, is my mom not being able to be around,” said Terrie, “but I know she’ll be real excited to see her in the newspaper.”
Reach Managing Editor Chris Berendt at 910-249-4616. Follow the paper on twitter @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.