First area baby of the new year is a born UF fan


Published: Friday, January 2, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 2, 2004 at 12:44 a.m.

Chances are, the Florida Gators' newest fan won't mind that the football team lost Thursday.

DARON DEAN/Special to The Sun
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DARON DEAN/Special to The Sun

Tammy and Brandon Tinckham hold their newborn baby, Michael Brandon Tinckham, on Thursday afternoon at North Florida Regional Medical Center. Alachua County's first baby of 2004 was born at 12:24 a.m.

After all, Michael Brandon Tinckham will have many more chances to see the Gators win bowl games during his lifetime.

That's because baby Michael was barely a half-day old during the game.

Michael, who entered the world weighing 8 pounds, 14 ounces, and stretching 21 inches, was the first Alachua County baby to get a birth date that ends in 2004. He was born just 24 minutes after midnight at North Florida Regional Medical Center.

Michael's parents, Brandon and Tammy Tinckham, are both University of Florida graduates and said one hope they had for him was to attend UF.

"He's already got Gator gear" waiting for him at home, said Tammy, 30.

Brandon added, "He'll definitely be encouraged to go, but not required."

The parents said they were thankful Michael, their second child, was born healthy with a largely routine labor and delivery. "He's been able to stay with us the whole day," said stay-at-home mom Tammy.

"He cried when they gave him (his inaugural) bath, but that's pretty much it."

Baby Michael hardly minded the sound of college football bowl games on television. Brown-haired and ruddy-faced, Michael mostly yawned, eyes barely visible as his mother cradled him in her arms.

Looking forward, the parents said celebrating a birthday for Michael will mark an excellent way to ring in each new year.

"There's always going to be a party on his birthday," said Brandon, 27, a project manager for PPI Construction Management Inc.

Michael arrived 10 days ahead of his projected due date, but later than both parents expected. Labor was induced about 8 p.m. Wednesday, and the parents thought for sure he would be born before midnight.

But Michael had his own plans, giving Tinckham family members in the delivery room time to ring in the birth of 2004 before celebrating his.

"Too late for a tax break," Brandon said.

"As soon as he was born (the nurses) were calling other hospitals," Brandon added, referring to Michael's first-baby-of-the-year status.

Tammy and Michael are expected to return home from the hospital today, where Michael will join sister, Natalie, 19 months.

Any younger siblings for Michael?

"No, we're done," mom said. "One girl, one boy, that's enough."

Douane D. James can be reached at (352) 374-5087 or jamesd@gvillesun.com.

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