Stone Co. parents bond with newborn during 'Golden Hour'

Stone Co. parents bond with newborn during 'Golden Hour'

New parents Joshua and Abbye Sparks can't believe the coincidences of their first child's birthday. They said their little one, Tyler Sparks, was the seventh baby born on July 17, 2017 at Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg.

"So we were all laughing about how seven is his lucky number," Abbye said.

But both Joshua and Abbye say they truly believe luck had nothing to do with finally holding their first born.

"He is our little miracle," Abbye said.

The Sparks said they tried for years to become parents, even turning to fertility medication.

"They told me that the medicine didn't work, that I wasn't pregnant," Abbye said.

Abbey said her doctor sent more medication, but before taking the next round, she took something else.

"Just on a whim decided to take a test and found out I was pregnant, " Abbye said.

They immediately went to a clinic. Both the doctor and the Sparks were shocked learn,  Abbye was already eight weeks along.

"This means I got a mighty God," Abbye said.

The Sparks wanted to make sure they gave their son the best start, and according to Merit Health Wesley's Director of Women's Services, Vicki Walters that's the first hour after birth.

"The baby's born and then the doctor hands off within a few seconds, and places that mom and baby together," Walters said.

This time is called the Golden hour. Walters said the baby is quickly placed on the mom's bare chest, and it's bonding time only for mom and dad, no other family.

"The baby stops crying," Walters said. "It helps to regulate the temperature, it also helps to control the blood sugars, and at that same time we do encourage breast feeding."

Abbye said the Golden Hour created a remarkable bond.

"The moment that they handed him and placed him on me was just amazing," Abbye said. "That's a moment between you and your child and a bonding moment you will never forget."

It's not just for mom. Joshua had his own skin to skin time with his son, Tyler.

"I can't put it into words, but again it's like an instant connection and it's an experience I'll never forget," Joshua said.

Walters said for a year, Merit Health Wesley has focused on educating parents on the Golden hour. She said studies show The Golden Hour helps with the growth and development of the newborn, and the health of both mom and baby. If you want to know more about The Golden Hour, or to take a tour of Merit Health Wesley's Birthing Center go to or call 601-296-3745 for a tour of the center.