If the projections hold true, the new Women's Center at Northside Hospital-Forsyth will deliver more babies during its first month than the county has welcomed in a quarter century.
In the 25 years since the last scheduled baby delivery in Forsyth County, just 160 babies have been born, either at home or in an emergency room, according to county probate court records.
The new center, which opened today, is expected to deliver about 2,000 babies each year, or about 167 per month.
"I think it's going to be awesome," said Forsyth County Commissioner Linda Ledbetter, who in 1981 had one of the county's last scheduled deliveries.
"It's just absolutely beautiful," she said. "I think it will be a very good experience for the young mothers in Forsyth County. I'm very proud of it as a Forsyth County resident."
The 103,000-square-foot facility has six private delivery and recovery rooms and six observation rooms.
It also features seven private pre-operating rooms, three C-section operating rooms and 16 private post-partum rooms.
Ledbetter, a Forsyth County native, had her first child in 1968 in Cherokee County because she said there was no local baby delivery facility at the time.
When her second child was born in 1981, Ledbetter gave birth at Forsyth County Hospital. Her third child was born at Northside Hospital-Sandy Springs.
Though she said the staff was nice and efficient, it was different from the comfortable hometown feeling of being in Forsyth.
"The bad thing about having my last baby at Northside, is the drive down there," she said. "You never know when the baby's coming, about the traffic. I worried a lot.
"Although my experience at Northside was nice, I wished we had a local one."
While it's been about six years since Northside Hospital came to Forsyth, there was never any doubt the system would expand the way it has, said Cumming Administrator Gerald Blackburn.
"Whenever Northside took over the hospital, they let it be known to the community that this was going to be a major location for the Northside Hospital group and that Northside Hospital-Forsyth would be a place they would beexpanding for a number of years," he said. "They have certainly lived up to their commitment."
E-mail Jennifer Sami at email@example.com.