A Silver Spring woman and her husband recently became the parents of one of the first American babies to be born in rural Anhui province of the People's Republic of China.

Laura Chandler and her husband, Jon Ritter, have been teaching English to Chinese students in Anhui for more than a year.The birth of their daughter, Abigail Mary, by Caesarean section was somewhat difficult, but the mother and baby are doing well now, according to Mary Chandler of Silver Spring, the baby's maternal grandmother. Mary Chandler will travel to China next fall to help her daughter and to teach at Anhui Provincial University.

"Laura remained in the hospital for one week," Chandler said. "But the letter they sent said the hospital went out of its way to set up for the operation."

A recent article in The Maryland Weekly about the experiences of Chandler and Ritter as expectant parents in the relatively remote area of China, and describing their expected child as the first American baby who would be born in Anhui province, brought a call from District of Columbia resident Inez Bush Lilley.

Lilley said she gave birth to her first son in the town of Wuhu in Anhui province in 1920. Lilley and her late husband, then an employe of Standard Oil, lived in China intermittently until 1948. A daughter later was born in Shandong province and another of her three sons was born in Qingdao.