As the world celebrated the arrival of 2019, Nicole Ma became the first baby of the year born at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, a Seventh-day Adventist health-care institution in Loma Linda, California, United States. Parents Claudine and Yi Shen Ma welcomed their new daughter only nine minutes after midnight.
“It’s an exciting time, and having the first baby of the new year makes it even more special,” Claudine said. “It’s great that everyone will be celebrating with her on her birthday, and we can look back and remember this special day.”
Newborn Nicole measured 20 and a half inches (52 cm) long and weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces (3.26 kg) at birth. The name Nicole was chosen by the Mas’ older daughter, who sat on the bed with her mother after the birth, playing with her new little sister’s feet.
Claudine and Yi Shen Ma are no strangers to Loma Linda University Health. She is a nurse in the intensive care unit in the medical center, and he teaches in the School of Religion. “This is our place,” Claudine said.
The New Year’s Day delivery was a smooth one, according to Claudine.
“She’s about a week early, so it was a bit of a surprise,” Yi Shen said. The couple drove more than an hour to have their baby girl at Children’s Hospital.
Nicole was showered with gifts from the Children’s Hospital after her birth, including a gift basket with goodies, onesies for the newborn, and sparkling apple cider for the parents to celebrate.
“It’s exciting to have the first baby born of the year,” Claudine said while cradling her newborn daughter. “One day, Nicole can look back and see how the community celebrated her birth with us.”