Hello, Henry: Rose Creek couple welcomes the first baby of Austin in 2019

Published 8:05 am Thursday, January 3, 2019

Baby Henry Jon Lunning was sound asleep in his blanket, while his proud mother, Kathleen Lunning, watched her newborn son with awe and delight on Wednesday afternoon.

Unbeknownst to Henry, he made his way into the world as the first baby of Austin in 2019. Born at 1:37 p.m. at Mayo Clinic Health System Austin  on New Year’s Day, Henry — named after his great-grandfather, and middle name after Nick Lunning, his father — weighed 8 pounds and 11 ounces and was 21 inches long. The baby was the second son for Kathleen, Nick, and a new brother to Beau Lunning, 3, of Rose Creek.

Henry Lunning joined the world early afternoon on Jan. 1.

“We’ve been blessed with two perfect little boys,” Kathleen sighed while cradling Henry in her arms. “I hope we stay healthy and I’m excited for Beau and Henry to play together.”

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It was unexpected to the Lunnings that Henry would arrive early as he was due on Jan. 6, but Kathleen went in for an appointment on New Year’s Eve, and plans quickly changed. She found that she was already four-centimeters dilated and was expected to go into labor. She was induced on Tuesday morning, and the labor went fast.

“There was a joke going on that there was another family whose mother went into labor at the same time as me,” Kathleen chuckled. “The doctors were joking about ‘the race was on’ while I was pushing.”

Still, it was mind-boggling to the Lunnings that Henry would be the first baby born in 2019 for Mower County, but welcomed the title. A small gift from the hospital was given to the Lunnings for their bundle of joy, including puzzles, a blanket and even some swaddling clothes.

Quietly sleeping in his mother’s arms, Henry was described to be a baby that “loves to be held” and was extremely cuddly. He barely cried, although would fuss if someone were to put him down, according to Kathleen. Her second pregnancy was smoother than the first, and at times, she felt more prepared this time around.

Kathleen Lunning holds her newborn son, Henry, at Mayo Clinic Health System Austin Wednesday. Henry is the first baby of 2019 born in Austin.

“I had gestational diabetes and high blood pressure when I had Beau,” she said. “This time, I felt awesome and things went smoothly. I am blessed. He seems like a calm baby, and was one of the best things to ever happen to me.”

When asked whether Beau was ready to be a big brother, Kathleen stated that her son was still getting used to the idea of being a sibling, but seemed up to the task.

“I don’t think it’s really hit him, yet,” she said. “He keeps calling Henry ‘Baby Joe’ and we don’t know why.”

Also a Banfield Elementary School second grade teacher, Kathleen had substitutes ready for her when Henry was born, but shared that today was the first day of school after break and her students wouldn’t be seeing her for another six weeks now that she delivered a baby.

But, Kathleen looked forward to seeing them again once her maternity leave is finished.

“My students wanted me to bring him in to visit,” she laughed. “They’re excited to meet him. Probably will once he’s a little bit older. I sent my sub some pictures. My students are in good hands.”