by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Jourdan Surgeon graduated from Tualatin High School in 2012. She was the first baby born at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Centers Family Birth Center.There have been 23,502 babies born at Legacy Meridian Park’s Family Birth Center. The first of the bunch, Jourdan Surgeon, just turned 20.

In the years since, Surgeon hit the familiar milestones: She graduated from Tualatin High School in 2012. Now a college sophomore, Surgeon is settling in at Boise State.

But she hasn’t lost touch with her physical birthplace.

As a teenager, Surgeon returned to the hospital often as a volunteer.

“I talked to patients and families and just kind of made up the rooms after patients had left, basically just did whatever they needed me to do,” Surgeon explained.

“When I was little, I always said I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up. Once I got into high school, I took anatomy — that was the only class I enjoyed. Then I started volunteering at Meridian Park, and loved it. Now that’s what I’m going to school for.”

Her full course load — anatomy, physiology and microbiology — underscores her intention to apply to the nursing program at Boise State at the end of the school year.

Her mother Lori had delivered her other two children, Garrett and Emily, at Mills Health Center in San Mateo, Calif. But she and her husband, Gary, opted to raise the young family in their home state, and after living in Tualatin for three years, were delighted to find out there was a birth center opening only a few blocks from their home in the Fox Hill neighborhood.

“When I first came in, I kind of knew I was going to be the first mom to deliver there,” Lori said. “There was another family that came in — (the mother) was actually delivering twins. But Jourdan was delivered first.

“The staff there was wonderful to me. (Jourdan) had a few complications when she was young, and they were very supportive and let me stay as long as I needed to. I mean, I was the only one on the floor! I had a lot of attention.”

“It was a great experience,” she added.

A big banner on the front of the hospital announced Jourdan’s birth, Lori recalled.

The family has occasionally been back for anniversary visits to the facility and to see nurse Hester Carr and Dr. Anton Broms, the delivering doctor.

“Dr. Broms still lives in my neighborhood,” Lori said. “I see him once in a while walking the trail down by the river with his wife.”

During tours every 10 years or so, Lori and Jourdan have seen how far the center has come since October 1993. It saw its peak birth year in 1998, with 1,447 deliveries; 2011 has the dubious distinction of hosting the lowest numbers of new arrivals, with 843 deliveries. According to hospital records, July tends to be the busiest month, with an average of 108 deliveries. The birth rate slows to an average of 87 in February.

Last March, the center introduced its first water birth suite, enabling expectant parents to combine a traditional hospital setting with an experience more akin to homebirth. And last week, the center introduced high-definition, satellite video conferencing technology into the nursery with the Tele-Baby Resuscitation program, allowing center staff to connect with neonatal specialists at Legacy Emanuel’s Randall Children’s Hospital.

The Family Birth Center might still be a home of sorts to Jourdan, who wants to focus on pediatric nursing.

“I think as soon as I graduate nursing school, I’d like to come home,” she said. “That’s where my whole family is. I think it’s wherever I get a job, but I would love to go back and work at Meridian Park.”

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