Family from Acton Welcomes Daughter Born New Year’s Day at Emerson Hospital


A family from Acton welcomed their first child, a baby girl, into the world on New Year’s Day.  Annika Shanley Fuhrmeister was born at Emerson Hospital at 9:19 a.m. on Friday, January 1.  She was the first baby born at Emerson in 2016.  Her parents, Rachel Shanley and Matthew Fuhrmeister, are spending the first days of 2016 getting to know their new daughter.  Born with dark red hair, Annika weighed in at 7 pounds, one ounce and measured 20.5 inches long.

The couple chose to deliver their baby at Emerson Hospital because it is near their home and came recommended. “The staff has been great about encouraging skin-to-skin bonding.  I’ve been holding Annika the whole time, which is wonderful.  She is happiest when she is on my chest,” said new mother Rachel.

Every day is a special time to welcome a newborn, but New Year’s Day, which emphasizes new opportunities, gratitude and excitement for the year ahead, highlights the meaning of having a baby born at the start of the year. Annika was due on January 3.  Her parents expected her to arrive after her due date because Rachel was feeling so well.  The couple spent New Year’s Eve painting their basement at home.  Just two days later they were holding their brand new daughter and enjoying pastries from the dessert cart that is popular among Emerson’s maternity patients and families.

Annika’s first name comes from Swedish origin. She is named in honor of her parents’ passion for cross-country skiing.  “We hope she’ll be a skier one day,” Rachel explained. She was delivered by Dr. Ingrid Balcomb, FACOG, Medical Director, AFA Obstetrics and Gynecology, who was covering for Rachel’s regular physician at Concord OB/GYN Associates.

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Emerson Hospital is a multi-site health system headquartered in Concord, Mass., with additional facilities in Sudbury, Groton and Westford. The 179-bed hospital provides advanced medical services to more than 300,000 individuals in 25 towns. To learn more, visit