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Penngrove couple welcomes first Sonoma County baby of 2021

At 38 weeks pregnant, Cristina Mahrt’s checkup at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital on Thursday was supposed to be a routine prenatal appointment at the end of 2020. She had some contractions, but nothing consistent ahead of her Jan. 15 due date.

Upon examination, though, the fourth grade teacher and her husband, Jonathan, got some exciting news: Cristina was in the early stages of labor and would be ending 2020 in the hospital.

On New Year’s Day, she was laughing and tired as the Penngrove couple are now new parents. Their son, Lincoln Boyd Mahrt, arrived at 12:53 a.m., Sonoma County’s first baby of 2021.

“We’re super excited,” said Jonathan Mahrt, 31, who works at his family’s business, Petaluma Egg Farm. “Overall, everything went very smooth.”

Lincoln, at 7 pounds, 4 ounces, initially had some “gunk” in his lungs but is healthy and was resting with his parents Friday inside their room at Sutter.

“He was pretty calm, all things considered,” Jonathan said. “He didn’t cry too much.”

The Mahrts didn’t necessarily set a goal of having a child amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’d been trying for a while and “it just happened to happen,” he said.

Cristina, 32, who teaches at Loma Vista Immersion Academy in Petaluma, said that while she had a pretty good pregnancy overall, the pandemic made it more trying in ways. With the rules in place to limit social contacts, Jonathan wasn’t allowed to attend to a lot of her doctors’ appointments.

At least enough time has passed for hospitals to adapt, allowing Jonathan to be present for Lincoln’s birth, Cristina said.

“I’m just grateful that the protocols have gotten a lot better,” she said.

And while they’d love for their relatives to have a chance to meet the newest member of the family, they’re sticking to photos for now in hopes that mass vaccinations will end the COVID-19 pandemic later this year.

“We’re not going to go out in public settings with him, so it’s really going to be about how to manage family around him,” Jonathan said.

For now, that means a lot of video calls and cellphone shots.

“We’ve been hard-hitting the FaceTime and texting photos,” Jonathan said.

“So grateful for technology,” added Cristina.

You can reach Staff Writer Will Schmitt at 707-521-5207 or will.schmitt@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @wsreports.

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