Shea Elizabeth McCarten - Baby Girl is 4th Generation Born at Holy Name
Shea Elizabeth McCarten was born at 7:37 a.m. on a Monday. Her arrival, all pink and perfect, was filled with joy and love and her parents, Katie Belthoff McCarten and J.P. McCarten, were smitten from the first moment they saw her. But they were proud also, knowing they carried on a long-standing family tradition. Shea is the first baby in the fourth generation of Katie's immediate family and the 18th Belthoff to be born at Holy Name Medical Center.
"We're so happy Shea was born here – we're really into family tradition," Katie said. "It was such a wonderful experience – the nurses made me so comfortable and relaxed. And Shea was born in the same room as my youngest brother, Connor!"
The Belthoff tradition started 88 years ago, when Robert (Bob) Belthoff was born in 1928. At the time, he and his mother were cared for by the nuns – the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace who still own the hospital.
"Holy Name has changed so much through the years," Bob said when he came back to welcome Shea, his 12th great-grandchild. "But they've done a beautiful job with all the renovations."
Bob was accompanied by his son, Tom, who is Katie's father, and Kevin, Katie's brother. Holding Shea for a family photo, the group represented four generations who came into the world at Holy Name. But there are also Tom's 10 siblings – Mary, Mike, Patty, Kathy, Pete, Matt, Donna, Alan, Chris and Alice – Tom's three sons – Tommy, Kevin and Connor – and two cousins, Abigail and Owen, who were born at the Medical Center. Katie and her sister Meaghan were born in another hospital because that's where their doctor was practicing at the time.
"We're a very close family," Tom said. "My mom passed away three years ago but she just loved when her family was together, especially at Christmas. So we do that each year – there are more than 100 of us in the house."
As members of the exuberant Irish-Catholic family stopped in to see Katie, J.P. and Shea, they talked about the serendipity that frequently touches their clan, and the efforts they make to honor it.
Although Katie grew up in Oradell, she often visited her grandmother, where she lived on Shea Drive in New Milford and raised Katie's mother, Elizabeth. J.P. lived on the same street and Katie said she would hope to see him playing outside during her visits to Nana's house. They ended up dating on and off in high school and college, until reuniting permanently three years after they graduated college and then marrying. Their firstborn child is named after this very street.
Kerry Massaro, a special care nurse who works in Holy Name's labor and delivery department, helped Katie's mother, Liz, deliver two of her sons. The two women struck up a friendship that has spanned more than two decades and as soon as she heard Katie was in labor, she rushed to the hospital late Sunday night and stayed with Katie throughout the delivery.
"I can't tell you how great it was to have Kerry here and all the nurses that helped me so much," Katie said. "I was super nervous, but they walked me through each step and made me so comfortable that I actually napped a little during labor. I have friends who delivered in other hospitals, and it wasn't such a great experience. It was just amazing here at Holy Name, and I'm so happy to keep the tradition going."