It’s not every baby that can claim to be born during a solar eclipse.
But David Obadiah Clark Garcia, born at 10:56 a.m. Monday at Mercy Medical Center, will forever be able to say he came into the world while the moon was moving across the face of the sun. His birth took place 38 minutes past the darkest point reached in Roseburg.
He was two weeks early and caught his parents by surprise. David’s mother, Alejandra Garcia of Wilsonville, had been staying with her parents in Canyonville since July. At 4:30 a.m. she woke to a popping sound. Then the contractions began.
David’s father, Cesar Garcia, has been working two jobs in Wilsonville. He had just come off the graveyard shift at Rite Aid when he got the call. He fought his way through heavy traffic, especially around Salem where people who wanted to view a total eclipse were headed. He worried he wasn’t going to make it to the hospital in time.
“Luckily I made it here 45 minutes or maybe an hour before she gave birth,” he said.
The traffic wasn’t too bad between Canyonville and Roseburg. Still, Alejandra Garcia was also worried since her contractions were just five minutes apart as her family drove her up to the hospital.
Alejandra and the couple’s two other children have been staying with her parents Gudelia and Fernando Esparza since July when pregnancy complications forced her to quit her job as a preschool teacher. She needed extra family help, since her husband took on a second job to pay the bills.
David’s brother Emmanuel, 5, was very eager to become a big brother.
“Once my wife told him, ‘I think the baby’s coming,’ he got his shoes on and he was ready to go,” his dad said.
David’s sister Grace, 8, was excited too. She attended the delivery and was allowed to cut David’s umbilical cord.
Cesar Garcia said David’s older siblings look more like him, but he thinks David looks more like his mother.
The Garcias had joked about the possibility of David being born during the eclipse, but they didn’t expect him yet. His due date was Sept. 1. Apparently, David had other ideas.
“He knew the eclipse was coming and he wanted to come with it,” Cesar Garcia said.
Alejandra Garcia had a doctor’s appointment on Thursday and had been told the baby was up too high to be expected just yet.
“I think he was just ready, or he wanted something memorable to talk about when he gets older,” she said.