The world did not have to wait long for the Archbold Buckeye First Baby of 2018.
Lofton Jay Beck, son of Jeremy and Meagan, rural Archbold, arrived at 1:45 pm, Tuesday, Jan. 2, at the Fulton County Health Center, Wauseon.
He was 20 1/2 inches long and weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces.
Meagan didn’t have a baby; she gave birth to a linebacker.
“Tell me about it,” she said, with that special inflection that conveys far more than mere words.
Meagan said on New Year’s Day, she and Jeremy went out for Mexican food, then went to a large discount store “to walk around to try and get things going.
“But then at midnight, we went to the hospital.”
After 13 hours of labor, Lofton was born, with a complete set of fingers, toes, and all the other parts.
She was in labor for 13 hours?
“Yeah, tell me about it,” she said, adding, “It was long enough. Takes a while when you have a linebacker.”
“A lot of pacing back and forth,” Jeremy said. “It was a long pregnancy.”
“It was a long pregnancy,” Meagan said.
Was Lofton a late arrival?
“He was pretty much right on time. It just felt like it was never going to end, especially with all the Christmases and all the holidays. I was so big,” Meagan said.
Welcoming the newest Beck into the family are two brothers, Jace, 10, and Brody, 8, plus sister Devin, 2.
The boys were aware there was a new baby coming, but when it was time for Lofton to make his entry into the world, they went to Uncle Eric and Aunt Michelle (Beck)’s.
“Did you know why you were at Uncle Eric’s?” Jeremy asked his sons.
“No, we didn’t know,” Jace said.
“They were just there for a sleepover, having a party,” Meagan said.
The siblings got the word the next afternoon.
It was quite a surprise, because the Becks didn’t know whether they would be welcoming a boy or a girl.
“It was a surprise,” Meagan said.
“Meagan thought it was going to be a girl,” Jeremy said.
“I really did,” she added.
“I thought it was going to be a girl,” Brody said.
“I was sick, just like I was with Devin, so I thought it was going to be another girl, but we were pleasantly surprised by a big boy,” Meagan said.
“It was a nice surprise.”
Lofton was born with just a little dark brown hair, and dark eyes.
Lofton represents a milestone.
He is the 100th member of the family started by Evelyn and the late Vernon Nafziger.
Lofton was able to visit his great-grandmother Evelyn at Fairlawn Care Center on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
“Grandma was very excited,” Meagan said. “She didn’t know about his name, but she liked his middle name because he’s named after grandpa.
“She got to show off number 100, she said.”
Jeremy has three brothers. In fact, his brother Eric, “Uncle Eric,” was the Archbold Buckeye First Baby of 1988, born on Jan. 8, 1988, at 9:45 am, at FCHC.
It was just the third year for the First Baby promotion in the Buckeye.
Meagan said while she was pregnant with Lofton, she wanted candy in general, but specifically, Swedish Fish, fish-shaped gummy candies with different flavors.
“A lot of late-night runs,” Jeremy said. “You get them at the convenience store. They’re not very good.”
At that point, one of the boys asked, “Mom, why are you always eating salads lately?”
Lofton has not yet managed sleeping through the night.
“He’s up twice, probably,” Meagan said.
One of the boys pipes up, “I never hear it.”
“Tonight, you guys can take the night shift,” Jeremy said.
Devin is sharing a room with the baby right now.
“You’ll hear Devin on the (baby) monitor, ‘Mom, the baby’s crying,’” Meagan said. “Yup, I’m aware of that. I’m coming.”
Even so, Meagan said Lofton has been a good baby.
“He’s pretty chill at this point,” Meagan said.
“He isn’t phased too much by noise,” Jeremy said.
Meagan said Lofton’s first name was suggested by a friend.
“I really liked it and I thought Jeremy would like it because he’s a huge Cleveland Indians fan,” she said.
Kenny Lofton, a retired centerfielder, played for the Indians baseball team from 1992-96 and 1998-2001, finishing his career there in 2007.
“I didn’t tell her everybody is just going to call him Kenny. Everyone likes that too,” he said.
Jay, Lofton’s middle name, is a family name, Meagan said.
Brody said he’s planning to teach Lofton how to play basketball. Jace said he’ll teach him baseball.
Meagan said Devin wishes Lofton could play with her.
“She’s always asking him to play,” Jace said.
But right now, Lofton’s world is comprised of eating and sleeping.
“Don’t forget the dirty diapers,” Jeremy said.
Lofton’s other grandparents are Doug and Norma Kauffman and Mark and Janelle Beck, all of Archbold.
Great-grandparents are Glenn and Mabel Ann Kauffman, Wauseon; Lois Rufenacht and Arva Beck, both of Archbold.
As the Archbold Buckeye First Baby of 2018, Lofton receives several gifts, including:
•$25 gift card, Wauseon Ace;
•$20 gift certificate and a book, Eliza Henry;
•$50 Archbold Area Chamber of Commerce gift certificate, Wyse Electric;
•$20 gift certificate, Archbold SuperValu Foods;
•Stainless steel two-piece baby silverware set, Hilver’s Jewelers;
•Fleece picnic blanket, RTEC Communications;
•$20 gift card, Subway;
•$50 gift card, Sauder Furniture Store & Outlet;
•Two buffets, The Barn Restaurant;
•$30 gift certificate, Deluxe Cleaners;
•$10 gift certificate, The Home Restaurant;
•$25 gift card, The Corner Gallery;
•Complimentary chiropractic care for the newborn for a year, Nafziger Family Chiropractic;
•Pound of chocolate covered nuts, Al-Meda Chocolates;
•And a year’s subscription to the Archbold Buckeye.*