Abigail Amy Montero is a newborn, but her short life is already a standout.
At 5 pounds, 15 ounces, little Abigail was likely the first baby born in Miami-Dade County in 2016. Mom Lourdes Morales, 21, gave birth at 12:44 a.m. after nine hours of labor.
“When I gave birth to her, she was perfect,” Morales said. “She has a cute face.”
Abigail, with black hair and a small round face, surprised her mom by arriving about a month before her due date. Morales said she was taking a nap when her water suddenly broke in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve. The family, originally from Cuba, rushed to Kendall Regional Medical Center and rang in 2016 anxiously waiting for Abigail to arrive.
At only 18 inches long, she is Morales’ first child and the family’s first grandchild.
“With the new year starting, what better gift could my daughter have given me,” said grandma Lourdes Pérez, 52. “My granddaughter is beautiful.”
Abigail will go home to a yellow and green nursery filled with pictures of zoo animals.
5-pound, 15-ounce Abigail Amy surprised the family by showing up a month early, and 44 minutes into the new year.
At Baptist Hospital, family members celebrated Alaina Star Epps, the first baby to be born in that hospital chain and maybe the second in the county.
Cordelia Riggins, 35, delivered Alaina at 2:57 a.m. after almost a full day of labor. The baby girl weighed in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces.
“Her name already has a lot of meaning, being born on the first day of the new year and her name being Alaina Star,” said her aunt, 25-year-old Sandra Betton. “2016 is already off to a great start. A star was definitely born.”
The family from Cutler Bay spent the day in the hospital waiting for little Alaina to be born but went home to toast the new year and watch the ball drop. They were still celebrating when a call came from the hospital to announce Alaina had finally arrived.
Mom and dad, 43-year-old Larry Epps, were too sleepy to speak with reporters about the baby girl, who measured about 22.5 inches. But grandma Mary Betton — Sugar Momma to her grandchildren — was buzzing.
“We welcome her with open arms and we’re going to love her to pieces,” said Betton, a retired nursing assistant who became a grandma for the eighth time with Alaina’s birth.
We’re going to love her to pieces.
Baby Alaina Star’s grandma, Mary Betton
Dr. Cynthia Bradley, who delivered Alaina, said it was the first time in her 25 years of practice that she delivered the first baby of the year. A Christian, she saw special meaning in the timing of Alaina’s entry into the world.
“This is the new year when God does new things,” she said. “This is very appropriate for that.”
Jackson South Community Hospital welcomed its first baby of the new year at 5:03 a.m., when Jesus Juan-Gonzalez was born to mother Dolores Gonzalez.
Memorial Hospital System in Broward County ushered in 2016 with the birth of Anabelle Pierre, a 7-pound, 2-ounce baby girl who was born just 10 minutes after midnight. Her parents are Melissa Pierre and Jean Abel Pierre.