FORT DRUM, New York - For many, ushering in the New Year means a chance to bring about new changes in routines and attitudes to start the year off fresh. But for one Fort Drum family, Jan. 1 meant kicking off the New Year with a new addition to the family.
Spc. Daisha Kelly and Sgt. Antonio Vazquez rang in the New Year with the birth of their first child, Avery, who arrived at 8:08 p.m. on New Year's Day, making baby Avery the first baby born to a Fort Drum family in 2020.
"I didn't think (having the first baby of the New Year) would be this much of a big deal," said Kelly, an automated logistical specialist with 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI).
"We didn't expect to have a New Year's baby," added Vazquez, a native of Syracuse, New York. "We just decided, 'oh, it's time to go to the hospital.' We didn't think he would be showing up right then and there."
Not only was Avery the first baby born to a Fort Drum family this new year, but also the first born in Jefferson County and the second in New York's North Country.
"We thought babies are getting made all over the place; there's no way," said Vazquez when he learned Avery was the first new-year baby born in the county.
Originally due Jan. 3, baby Avery decided to greet the world a couple of days early. While showing the early signs of labor, Kelly and Vazquez arrived at the Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown in the early morning of Dec. 31. Baby Avery waited until well into the evening of Jan. 1 before finally being delivered at a healthy seven pounds, one ounce and at 21 inches long.
"He's a good baby; he hasn't been crying a lot," Kelly, a native of Bradenton, Florida, said. "We just have to find a routine for him now because he'll stay alert the whole night and won't go to sleep."
Kelly and Vazquez said Avery's sleeping habits are precisely the same as it was while he was in the womb.
"He was always moving around at night," said Vazquez of the pregnancy. "During the day, he would just hang around until (Kelly) ate something, then maybe he'd start bouncing around for a little bit. But after that, he's like 'I'm going back to sleep.' Then, at nighttime, he's up - and that's literally how he is right now."
Even at just a couple of days old, Avery has already begun showing signs of his personality.
"He does like his hands," said Vazquez. "He likes to put them all over his face. He was like that in the sonograms, too. That's all he wants to do is keep his hands up close and personal."
Kelly and Vazquez were set to leave the hospital on the morning of Jan. 3, less than two days after the delivery, and were excited to get Avery home and begin the journey of parenthood.
"You're going to love him with all your heart," Vazquez told Kelly as she held little Avery in her arms before their discharge.