Baby New Year

Published 3:48 pm Saturday, January 10, 2009

Almost a week into the new year, Albert Lea’s Baby New Year has finally arrived.

Weighing in at 5 pounds 7 ounces, dark-haired Jaelani Lenaiyah William was born at 12:20 p.m. on Wednesday at Naeve Hospital in Albert Lea. She was born to proud parents Jocelyn Padilla and Larson William of Albert Lea.

Little Jaelani came almost three weeks early, as her due date was Jan. 26.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s still amazing to me that she’s here,” said Padilla, a first-time mother. “I don’t know how to describe it.”

“We’re just happy,” William said.

Padilla had actually gone in for a scheduled appointment on Tuesday when her obstetrician, Stephanie Nainani, told her she had to stay.

She had started to dilate and later started having contractions.

She said the labor “was long, but it wasn’t horrible.” When it came time for the actual pushing, that only lasted about 20 minutes, the proud mother said.

The name for Jaelani was thought of by her father.

“She’s beautiful,” William said. “She’s got a lot of hair.”

Padilla said Jaelani has her father’s nose and her mother’s lips, with a good mix of the two parents visible in her.

“We’re excited to have her here with us,” Padilla said.

The couple said since the birth of their daughter they have been able to get a few hours of sleep but are still adjusting to being new parents.

They’ve also been busy with visits from family and friends to their room in the Baby Place, Naeve Hospital’s maternity ward on the third floor.

William’s mother, Marylnn William, was at the hospital Thursday during the Tribune’s interview for this story.

She said she is proud to be a grandmother for the fourth time.

“I thank God for her, for everything,” she said of her new granddaughter. “I’m so proud, so happy.”

She arrived at the hospital Wednesday night from Rochester.

The grandmother thanked all of the nurses and doctors for the help they’ve given her family.

The family was scheduled to go home for the first time with their baby on Friday.

Registered nurse Theresa Blizzard, who was assisting mom and baby on Thursday, said she and the other nurses were surprised Albert Lea’s Baby New Year wasn’t born until a week into 2009.

Blizzard said she was at work during several of the beginning days of the year, and day after day she and the other nurses would not get any calls about a mother coming in to have a baby.

Because of the lack of births in the Baby Place this week, the nurses are already expecting a busy week to come, she said with a laugh.

“Next week will be crazy,” Blizzard said. “We’re all saying it.”