A village where for 10 years only girls were born has finally seen the arrival of a baby boy.
The tiny village of Miejsce Odrzańskie in southern Poland which has a population of just 300, made global headlines last year after the region’s mayor offered a reward to the first couple to give birth to a boy.
Now, 10 months on, the arrival of baby Bartek has sent the village wild.
Delighted mayor Rajmund Frischko told The First News: ‘This is wonderful news, especially at this time when we are all dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Proud mother Anna Milek told local media the birth which happened on May 2 was a double miracle following a life-saving operation.
She said: ‘The operation brought me back to life and made a double miracle happen. A double miracle, because Bartek is not only a boy but a boy from Miejsce Odrzańskie.
‘Bartek needs a lot of attention, closeness and sensitivity from me. Just like any new-born child.’
The birth comes as a huge relief to the small agricultural community with the area suffering from population decline as young women moved away to find partners and start their lives.
Head of the local fire brigade, dad-of-two Tomasz Golasz, said that a month ago another girl had been born in the village, the thirteenth in a decade-long run of girls.
He said: ‘We were hoping that it would finally be a boy.’
The village came to global attention last year after the unusual series of girl-only births aroused interest in the Polish media when the village sent an all-girl team to a regional volunteer firefighting competition, an event usually dominated by boys.
Dubbed ‘creepy’ and ‘abnormal’ the village was then flooded with advice on how to conceive a boy with one doctor insisting that women who wanted to have a boy should have a diet rich of calcium.
Others suggested a complicated procedure that involved measuring the women’s internal temperature at different intervals and statisticians calculated that the likelihood of such a long run of girl births is one in over four thousand.
Now proud dad Grzegorz, who already has a baby daughter with Anna, has been named a ‘local hero’ and the mayor said his offer of a reward still stands.
He said: ‘Due to the pandemic, we will have to wait a bit.
‘The parents themselves want to keep their privacy and avoid the interest of the media.
‘However, when they are ready to meet the world, the local district as well as local companies are planning to make a gesture towards the family, either bigger or smaller, we are not sure yet.’
Anna and baby Bartek are currently still in hospital as he has raised C-reactive protein levels, which require antibiotics and regular checks by hospital doctors.
But Anna said she was ready for the whirlwind of media interest that could soon engulf the village again, saying: ‘I’ll face it with a smile.
‘I’m glad that Bartek will have this souvenir for the rest of his life.’
In August 2019, the town’s Mayor promised a surprise award for the next couple to deliver a boy in a village where only girls had been born for nearly a decade.
County Mayor Rajmun Frischko, a father of two girls, told TVN24 that he would have a nice surprise ready for those who next have a boy.
During an earlier interview with the New York Times, Frischko said that he was ‘considering naming a street’ and an oak tree after the long-awaited male child.
Authorities in the one-road village of Miejsce Odrzanskie, which has around 300 residents, didn’t know why there hadn’t been any boys born there since 2010.
Head of the local (mostly female) volunteer fire brigade Tomasz Golasz told The First News in August that it had been going on for a long time. He said that he ‘took a local girl for my wife’ and had two girls.
‘I would like to have a son but it’s probably unrealistic. My neighbour also tried and has two daughters. I don’t think women give birth to boys here,’ he said.
The villagers is beginning to worry about filling farming jobs in the future and women often pick up for the lack of manpower in the fields.
The case of the low boy births has also peaked the interest of scientists who have offered to conduct research to investigate the unique situation, Frischko said.
He added that there were no shortage of doctors waiting to advise the villagers on how to remedy the situation. One said a high calcium diet would ensure a boy baby.
Frischko also mentioned the ‘tried Polish highlander method’ of ‘keeping an ax under your marital bed’ to conceive a boy.
Statistics show that more boys than girls are born in Poland. In 2017, 207,000 boys were born compared to 196,000 girls.