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William Beaumont Army Medical Center experiences its biggest baby boom

By Matt Dougherty
Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:41:00 AM CST
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 02:17:28 PM CST

ABC-7's Matt Dougherty reports.

EL PASO, Texas -

William Beaumont Army Medical Center is having a baby boom.

The military hospital broke its record for number of deliveries in a single month in September.

The 170-baby record was broken on Monday when the maternity and delivery unit set its new record for babies delivered in a single month – 173.

Hamaravi Torres, Jr., was the final baby to be born for September and is the current record holder.

On Wednesday, WBAMC commander Col. Michael Heimall presented the newborn with his very first “chit.”

Chits are given to soldiers by their commanding officers for works of merit.

Military tradition dating back to Great Britain states that when soldiers meet the chit givers in a bar in the future, they redeem their chit for a pint of beer to be purchased by the chit giver.

The baby boom does not seem to be slowing down at the hospital.

By midday on October 2, the unit had already delivered 10 babies for the month.

The average number of births per day during the month of September was more than five.

“Just seeing that life being brought into the world, it’s pretty indescribable,” Cpt. Bethany Bradbury said. When asked if it ever gets old after 173 births, Cpt. Bradbury said, “Never.”

Baby Hamaravi was not only the last baby born for the month of September, but he was also the last baby born before the government shutdown forced furloughs at WBAMC.

On October 1, around 250 workers at the hospital had to take off time without pay – it is roughly 13 percent of the hospital’s staff.

Col. Heimall said the maternity and delivery unit would not be affected because it falls under the hospital’s essential services category.

“We’re going to keep delivering babies,” Col. Heimall said. “We’re going to keep seeing patients, doing surgeries for the community that needs care. We’ve been given broad guidance to keep all of our delivery options open, and so that’s good news for the Fort Bliss community and civilians who rely on us, and we’re able to maintain services for everyone that we need to take care of.”

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