First baby of 2018 in Eau Claire born thanks to surrogate mom - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

First baby of 2018 in Eau Claire born thanks to surrogate mom


Eau Claire (Press Release) -  Not many parents have to race across the country to be present at the birth of their baby, but that was exactly the case for Christine Ravago and her husband, Simon Bone, of Severna Park, Maryland, parents of the first baby born at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire in 2018.

Ravago and Bone, after years of trying to have a child, connected with first-time surrogate mom Alyssa Johnson of Eau Claire more than a year ago, and began a long journey that culminated in the birth of their son, Sterling, at 8:43 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Baby Sterling’s timeline was pushed up a bit from his due date of Jan. 21, when high blood pressure concerns caused Alissa Johnson to come in to deliver early by C-section. When Ravago got the word that Sterling was coming early, she hopped on a plane, arriving at the hospital around 3:30 a.m. Her husband set out to make the trip by car.

He's driving all the way from Maryland to see baby Sterling, but he may have to wait until January 2nd to see his New Years baby boy due to traveling through a snow storm.

“The timing wasn’t planned, so I was a bit frazzled,” Ravago says. “I caught the last plane out and it was delayed. I was anxious and excited at the same time.”

In Eau Claire, Johnson was hoping the timing would work out.

"It's been a really long journey. We're so thankful for the Johnson family and we're glad to have this New Years miracle," Ravano said.

“I was hoping we could wait to deliver until at least one of them could get here,” Johnson says. She says she is happy things turned out well and she was able to play a part in the happy event. “There just aren’t words,” Johnson says.

Ravago says she is thankful to be holding her beautiful baby boy. She gets emotional when expressing her thanks to Alyssa Johnson and her husband, Jesse.

“Just the incredible selflessness and sacrifice of the Johnsons, who have three kids at home,” Ravago says. “I’m very happy and excited.”

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