There had been no "first baby of the year" at Carson-Tahoe Hospital by press time Thursday night - though one was on its way.
"We haven't had a baby yet, but we could maybe within a few hours or so," said obstetrics nurse Dianne Naylor at 5 p.m.
However, it was clear who had earned the title of "last baby born at Carson-Tahoe in 2003." That honor goes to Marlie Marie Teel, a 5-pound girl with strawberry-blonde hair. She was born at 8:46 p.m. Wednesday to Nicole and Chuck Teel of Gardnerville.
Don't accuse Marlie of being a procrastinator -she showed up about five weeks early. When she was born on New Year's Eve, her lungs weren't functioning like a mature baby's. A neonatal intensive-care team from Reno came down to help her out, and took her up to St. Mary's Hospital, where she's being cared for.
"They're just going to keep her on oxygen and monitor her levels," said her 27-year-old mom. It was hard to leave her baby in Reno, she said.
"She's doing real well," said the baby's grandmother Donna Miller on Thursday. "Last night she was struggling a bit, but seeing her this morning, she was like a totally different baby than she was last night. She's going to be perfectly fine, but she just needs that little bit of extra help right now."
Marlie made an even earlier attempt at birth. The Monday before Christmas, doctors thought her mother was going to give birth, but they stopped the labor because it was so early. Nicole Teel spent Christmas Eve at St. Mary's.
She went into labor again at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Five hours and 46 minutes later, Marlie was born.
The Teels have a 2-year-old daughter named Tatum.
"Hopefully, we'll get to bring the baby home soon so she can meet her older sister," said Mom.
Little Marlie's nursery is all ready.
"It's full of Pottery Barn stuff," said Grandma. She and grandpa Pat Miller live in Ventura, Calif. They flew up just to be here for the birth of their fourth grandchild.
The Teels will receive a Butler Meats gift certificate worth $50 from the Western Nevada Cattlewomen for having the last baby of the year born at Carson-Tahoe.
Chuck Teel, 33, says they might just have a big barbecue to celebrate Marlie's birth.
"We'll do it when she comes home in three or four days," added her mom.
Contact Karl Horeis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.