Archive for Monday, January 4, 1999


January 4, 1999


The first baby born in 1999 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital arrived Saturday afternoon, a few hours after his mother -- not expecting to deliver that day -- went shopping.

The newest member of the Coplen family has impeccable timing.

Not only was Matthew Glen Coplen born on his due date, but he was the first baby of 1999 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

It all came as a surprise to mother Peggy Coplen, who was so sure it wasn't THE day Saturday morning that she went shopping, picking up newborn diapers and wet wipes.

When Coplen got home, husband Marshall was there with the message that Coplen's doctor, Dr. Carla Phipps, wanted her to come to the hospital so she could induce labor.

Coplen, 34, saved her the trouble.

"As soon as I got to the hospital I started having contractions," she said.

Less than six hours later, at 4:17 p.m., Matthew was born, weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 19 1/2 inches long.

"My husband said no son of his is going to be late for anything," Coplen said.

Coplen said her husband was in the delivery room during the birth.

"He was in for the whole thing," she said. "He did great. He was wonderful."

As of late Saturday night, Matthew was sharing his father's even temper, as well as his punctuality.

"He's been a very good baby," Coplen said from her hospital room.

Because Matthew's was the first birth of the year, Lawrence Memorial Hospital presented the family with a car seat.

"All the nurses have really been very good to us," Coplen said.

Coplen works in the records department at Lawrence Family Practice Center. Marshall Coplen is a mechanic at Westside Imports in Topeka.

The couple have a 3-year-old daughter, Jenell Grace Coplen.

-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is

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