Two Queens Babies Share Honor Of First Baby Born In 2013
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Two lucky families in Queens shared the honor of welcoming the city's first babies of 2013 right at the stroke of midnight Monday.
Baby Olivia was born at New York Hospital-Queens just as cheers rang out in Times Square.
New parents Rosemary Espinal and Freddy Pena said Olivia's midnight arrival was a complete surprise.
"We were expecting January 4th, but we weren't expecting January 1st, New Year's," said Freddy Pena.
"I wasn't paying attention to the time, I just wanted to get it over with," said Rosemary Espinal.
"When it got closer and closer to midnight, we realized, this might happen. And it did," said Dr. Curtis Hardy, who helped deliver Olivia.
The baby's seven-year-old new big brother and a six-year-old new big sister were also excited.
"I am going to tell my friends that my baby sister is the new year baby," said the sister.
Olivia will share a birthday with Kaylee Sayuri Merino, who was also born at midnight in nearby Elmhurst Hospital Center. Kaylee's mother, Rosalba Merino, saw the ball drop in Times Square at the moment of delivery.
"I was like, trying to watching it and at the same time, that pain," said Rosalba Merino.
The two little girls share the title: First New New Yorker of the New Year...something their parents never expected. Both babies arrived a few days early.
Hospital staff said it is always joyful to welcome the first baby, as it is a chance each year for the maternity ward to celebrate the work they do every day.
When the first baby at a hospital also happens to be one of the first babies in the whole city, it's particularly exciting.
"It's a good thing, it's a happy occasion, and especially this year, after all the bad things that have been happening, this really makes us very happy and the parents are very excited," said Georgette Durand, an assistant nurse manager at New York Hospital-Queens.
In 2011, there were 123,000 babies born in the city, and if New York Hospital-Queens is any indication, there may have been even more born in 2012.
"We average about 4,300 deliveries and this year we've had a bumper crop because it's the year of the dragon, which is a very good year for the Asian population to have a baby," said Durand.
The parents of 2013's first babies had a good feeling about this year as well.
"She's special, she's special. 2013, good things are probably going to happen this year." Rosalba Merino.