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La Crosse's first baby of 2020 welcomed at Gundersen Health System

La Crosse's first baby of 2020 welcomed at Gundersen Health System

New Year baby

John Clauson and Hailey Tindle welcomed son Joseph Carter Lee at 10:05 a.m. Wednesday at Gundersen Health System, making him the first baby born in 2020 at a La Crosse hospital. 

New Year’s Day was off to quiet start in the maternity wards of La Crosse’s hospitals until the first cries of a newborn erupted at 10:05 a.m. at Gundersen Health System.

Second-time parents Hailey Tindle and John Clauson were stunned not only to learn that their son was the 2020 debut baby citywide, but by his Wednesday arrival in general.

Tindle, who was admitted to Gundersen at 1 a.m., wasn’t due until Jan. 18. But little Joseph Carter Lee Clauson had other ideas.

“It was a huge surprise,” Tindle said of his nearly three-week-early arrival.


Joseph Carter Lee Clauson was the first baby delivered New Year's Day 2020 at a La Crosse hospital. He was born to parents Hailey Tindle and John Clauson at Gundersen Health System.

After a difficult labor, baby Joseph was delivered in just seven minutes, weighing in at 6 pounds, 2 ounces and measuring 18 inches long.

“Sunny-side up is what they called him,” Tindle said of Joseph’s unusual face-up delivery.

Clauson was at Tindle’s side as their newest family member was being born, a special experience for the couple.

Clauson and Tindle’s 3-year-old son JJ had the special honor of selecting Joseph’s first and middle name, picking his favorites from his parents’ list of options. The second middle moniker, Lee, is a family name.

Learning their youngest has the claim to fame of being 2020’s first local baby, Clauson enthused, “That’s — wow!”

Having a holiday birthday means Joseph will always have his special day off from school, and Tindle notes his big day will kick off each year with a sky high spectacle.

“We will make his birthday special for him which you always do for kids,” Clauson said. “But we can be like, ‘All these fireworks are for you!’”

Gundersen staff noted that while there were many New Year’s Eve births, Joseph was the sole Wednesday baby as of mid-afternoon. As of 4 p.m., Mayo Clinic Health System had not reported any births.


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General assignment reporter

Emily Pyrek covers health, human interest stories and anything involving dogs for the La Crosse Tribune. She is always interested in story ideas and can be contacted at

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