While many rang in the new year with friends and parties, one Clifton woman rang it in with a new addition to her family.
Maria Lopez says this New Year's Eve was a little different than it was last year -- instead of partying with friends and family, she spent the last hours of 2008 at St. Mary's Hospital, ready to bring her first child into the world.
"They gave me the epidural and after that I did not feel anything," said Lopez. "I was really tired, really sleepy."
As she laid there in her room, surrounded by family and friends, the clock drew closer and closer to midnight.
"They were like two more minutes, two more minutes, then it's New Years," said Lopez.
Just minutes after they celebrated the start of 2009, an even bigger celebration began -- at 12:12am, Nevia Jocelyn Lopez was born.
"She's beautiful," said Lopez. "I only thought about her and just how beautiful she was, and I enjoyed it."
Little Nevia came into the world weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces and was 22 inches tall. She beat the next New Year's baby by six minutes.
"I was so excited, I was happy," said Lopez. "I thought she was really special for being the first baby born."
Holding Nevia in her arms, Lopez says all she can feel is great joy.
"I wanted a little girl," said Lopez. "There's so many cuter things for little girls."
Lopez says the first 24 hours have been good. Aside from a few small cries here and there, she says Nevia has been a nice, calm baby, who has spent most of the day sleeping -- giving mom and daughter plenty of time to relax after their long night.
"We're both great," said Lopez. "Her doctor came and checked her and she's a really good, healthy baby."
Doctors say the pair should be able to go home Friday. Lopez says she can hardly sit still thinking about it.
"I get to bring her home, change her every day, put on pretty little clothes," said Lopez. "I can't wait."
And during this time of new beginnings, she says she can hardly wait to start her new life as a mom.
"I'm just really happy and excited," said Lopez. "Happy New Year's!"
Lopez says it seems fitting her daughter gets to be on the news for something special. She herself was featured in the news for weighing 13 pounds when she was born.
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