Newbie for the new year


First baby of the new year comes earlier than expected.

First baby of the new year comes earlier than expected.


Kayla Rodriguez was in the middle of doing some household chores on New Year's Day when she began to feel a little funny.

"We were just at home, relaxing. We weren't doing anything, and then I started doing laundry. I had gone through two loads of clothes, and all of a sudden, I was like, 'I think my water broke,'" she said Thursday afternoon, just a few hours removed from delivering her fourth son, Ayven, the first baby born in 2014 at St. Catherine Hospital.

Ayven Cruz Rodriguez arrived at 3:53 a.m. Thursday, to John and Kayla Rodriguez of Holcomb. Measuring 7 pounds and 19 inches, Ayven has four siblings: Marcus, 11; Adryana, 9; Dominic, 5; and Abel, 3.

Kayla said her son's birth so close to New Year's Day was completely unexpected. Her due date was Jan. 12, and nothing came up during a Tuesday doctor visit to indicate she would go into labor the next day.

"I was expecting to go the full 40. I guess not. He wanted some attention," she said while looking at her son, who was peacefully asleep in the crib next to her bed at the hospital.

Kayla said her water broke about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. They got to the hospital around 6 p.m., and other than being poked and prodded quite a bit, Ayven's birth had no complications. She was given an epidural and some medication to speed up contractions over the next nine hours of labor.

"Everything went kind of quick. One push and he was out," she said.

The couple were surprised their son was the first baby of the year, something they learned could be a possibility when they got to the hospital. St. Catherine had procedures scheduled to induce delivery in two other women later Thursday.

"It was more surprising with everything that happened at home, with the water breaking and everything like that," John said. "It was kind of shocking." Kayla said pregnancies with her other children all went the full 40 weeks, and they had to induce birth for Abel. As a result, she had expected Ayven to be just as stubborn.

Shawna Deal, community relations coordinator for the hospital, said it was surprising for St. Catherine to have no babies born on Jan. 1 this year.

"It was real quiet all day yesterday," Deal said Thursday. "I don't think the region had very many New Year's babies because Hutchinson called to see if we had one on the 1st. Hutchinson didn't have one either. I'm not sure there were very many babies born on Jan. 1 this year (in the area)."

Abel was quite curious about his new little brother, and nodded his head and smiled when asked if he liked his younger brother. Abel was also interested in the gift basket provided by the hospital to commemorate the first baby of the year.

Deal said the hospital provided the new mother a basket with a onesie embroidered to commemorate the first baby of the year, a variety of baby toys, child-proofing equipment, a smoke alarm, diapers, other baby care items, and a blanket hand-made by Hayley Finch, a local teen.

Despite all the commotion going on around him during Thursday's interview with his parents, Ayven slept peacefully in his crib.

"He's so quiet," John said. "He was really alert when they delivered him. He was awake, looking around. They had to do some things to make him cry because he didn't want to cry at first. But as soon as they were done, he was quiet again."

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