A 'blessing' on New Year's Day

Jim Grant/Nevada AppealJim Grant

Jim Grant/Nevada AppealJim Grant

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Xavier and Karina Herrera had a 2012 blessing unique to Carson City: Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center's first baby of the year.

Alexa Herrera was born at 4:07 p.m. Sunday and came in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce. Her mother was bouncing her sleeping daughter in the hospital bed Monday afternoon. The nurses brought them gifts, the parents said, including a shirt reading "Happy New Year."

"It was amazing," Xavier Herrera, 20, said, using the superlative for the first of many times when describing his child and her birth. "We wanted a New Year's baby, but we got the first baby of the year."

Three other babies were also born New Year's Day at the Carson City hospital.

No New Year will ever compare to this one, the new parents said, even though Xavier Herrera said he had fainted before midnight. After 24 hours of labor, doctors decided to perform an emergency Caesarean section, they said, and just the sight of the epidermal needle the doctors were prepping put Xavier on the couch.

"To me, it was really scary how much she was shaking," Xavier said of the bits of procedure he saw. "I was like, 'Is this natural?' and the doctor goes, 'Oh, yes, perfectly normal.' "

They said they fielded phone calls from family and friends afterward, each passing along the congratulations.

"It's a blessing to have her here," Karina Herrera, 19, said.

But will their daughter's special status mean anything for how she will be raised?

"She's going to be very spoiled," Xavier Herrera said.

The new mother gave an exhausted smile and looked at the sleeping baby in her arms.

"She's already spoiled."


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