Christian Carter and Leah Swearingen welcomed Eli Cautious Carter into the world just after midnight on Jan. 1.
“He shot out of my body like a rocket,” Swearingen said with a laugh. “The nurse had to catch him like a linebacker.”
Eli was 7 pounds 7 ounces and 21 inches long at the time of his birth.
The new proud grandparents are Kim Bozarth and Brent Swearingen on the mother’s side and islanders Tom Carter and Sarah Bergman, on the father’s side.
Carter grew up on San Juan Island, graduating from Friday Harbor, before heading off to college.
Christian Carter and Leah Swearingen met while attending Evergreen State University in Olympia, Washington. The couple moved to San Juan island three years ago. She works at a dental office in Friday Harbor, and he is a carpenter.
The couple used Friday Harbor’s new midwife birthing clinic Greenbank Birth Center. This meant they spent five days in Whidbey Island, where the main center is located, but the couple said it was worth the stay. They also noted that as of Jan. 1, 2020, according to Washington State Family and Medical Leave Program, maternity leave ensures that both parents have three months paid, while they adjust and spend time with the newest member of their family. The program is applicable to all employees, covering at least partial paid leave, no matter how big the company, and covers for both birth and adoptions.
“It has been fantastic,” – said.
The labor itself was a long and grueling 24 hours.
“I underestimated how hard it would be,” Leah Swearingen said.
As the first baby born on San Juan Island in the new year, the Carter-Swearingens won nearly $500 in gifts from generous businesses including The Toy Box; Be Chic Boutique; Pebble; Harbor Rental; Petro San Juan; Friday Harbor Drug; Islanders Bank; Ace Hardware; Kings Market; Island Petroleum; Friday Harbor Dentistry; and The Journal of the San Juans.