Two area couples will have another reason to celebrate Jan. 1 — it’s the day they became parents.
Maiya Abigail, the first baby of the new year in Roswell, was born 4:47 a.m., Tuesday, at Lovelace Regional Hospital-Roswell to Lori Shirley and Dale Brunson. She weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces and was 19 inches in length.
Shirley said Maiya was supposed to be due Jan. 17, but she had been hoping to have her for New Year’s.
“I just feel blessed to finally have her,” she said.
Shirley, 20, spent most of Wednesday morning joined by family members and getting some much needed rest. She cradled her daughter in her arms, admiring her developing features.
“She’s got my nose,” Shirley said. “It’s like looking at a little me.”
She said while the actual experience wasn’t pleasant, Shirley said her daughter had a very healthy birth, with no complications. Along with Shirley’s mother and sister, Brunson, 28, also was present during the delivery.
He said while he was happy and excited to witness the birth of his daughter, he admitted, “I got woozy.”
This is the couple’s first child and they said they were glad to have a girl.
To celebrate Maiya’s birth , the hospital gave Shirley flowers and a gift basket of baby goodies, such as onesies and blankets. Helping Hands of Rio Pecos Medical Associates also provided them with a gift basket of blankets and baby clothing.
Across town at Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, Chloe and Chris Claney took turns cradling and comforting their daughter Emma Louise Claney, born 4:15 p.m., New Year’s Day. She weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and was 21 inches long.
Like Maiya, Emma was born earlier than her expected due date, Jan. 8. Christopher, who had been on hand to cut his daughter’s umbilical cord, said it was “the best New Year’s ever.”
Chloe described the experience as wonderful and said she and her husband had been looking forward to having a daughter and had already picked out a name and middle name, which honors Chloe’s grandmother.
Christopher’s mother Robin Claney smiled as she watched her son and his wife tend to their newborn.
“It’s the happiest I’ve seen the both of them, especially my son,” she said. “He was so proud when he came out of that room after she was born.
“They’re going to be great parents; they’re both loving, caring people.”
Dale Brunson and Lori Shirley with their daughter Maiya Abigail, who became the first baby of the new year born in Roswell, 4:47 a.m. Tuesday. (Ilissa Gilmore Photo)