Post 9-11 Baby Boom?

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Litttle Devin Wheeles was born on Thursday, and his parents are awfully proud of their five pound, 14 ounce, bundle of joy.

"You hear about what its like, but you never know until you experience it for yourself," said Devin's father, Joe.

Devin is not alone at the Women's Care Birthplace at Riley Hospital. The entire maternity ward is full right now. And other hospitals, like Anderson Regional Medical Center, report a 50 percent increase in the number of births over the last couple of weeks.

Nurses like Riley's Christi Jones can only attribute the rise in births to one thing: it's been nine months since Sept. 11. Jones says she can only guess why people might be thinking more about children now.

"It could be a lot of things," said Jones. "Fear, people were staying at home more, and there's a lot of military that may be having to go overseas."

If there is indeed a post 9-11 baby boom, its not limited to Meridian. Hospitals across the country are reporting a rise in the birth rate this month.

Dr. Virginia Nelson, local OB-GYN, says its like nothing she's ever seen.

"I don't think anything has stirred the emotions like September 11th," said Nelson.

Nelson also says she has an even larger number of expectant mothers in their mid to late term, so if there is indeed a baby boom, its likely to get even bigger in the months to come.