LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- This new year brings a special delivery for one local family. Kimberly Nayeli Rivera Ramirez is officially the first baby born in Lafayette. She is also her parents' Merlin Ramirez and Jose Rivera's first baby girl.
She entered the world at 12:18 a.m. This special birthday comes with a special gift. Franciscan Health traditionally provides its first New Year baby with a basket full of baby-related items.
Like many, the family said they had concerns about being pregnant in the midst of a global pandemic. But they're grateful they were able to stay safe and deliver a healthy baby.
"They were a little bit cautious being pregnant during the pandemic just because of her state and because they were afraid she would become infected," said an English translator with the hospital. "They said they've had a very good experience here in the hospital and everything's going well."
While last year brought a lot of unpredictable changes these parents say Kimberly's unexpected early arrival was a pleasant surprise to start the year.
"They feel very content about her coming on New Year's day, she went out about 10 days early," said the English translator. "What they are expecting for 2021 is to watch their baby grow."
Baby Kimberly's due date was set for Jan. 10. She was born 7 pounds and 5 ounces.
IU Health Arnett Hospital is also celebrating its first New Year's baby. Veda Mae Crowly born at 8 pounds and 2 ounces, entered the world at 7:05 a.m. Her parents are Monticello natives.
An estimated total of 371,000 babies across the world will be born on New Year's. That's according to UNICEF, a child advocacy organization. Health leaders say it's unclear if the pandemic will shift those numbers after 2021.
IU Health OBGYN Physician Dr. Noel Wallace said she's talked with several parents last year looking to delay pregnancy due to the pandemic. She's interested to see what this year will bring.
"Some people are like, oh we're spending so much time together and so, 'here we are' versus, people who say 'I think I'm going to hold off trying to start a family at least until we get past it so it definitely does remain to be seen,'" said Wallace.
According to UNICEF, Fiji is the first country to welcome the first new year's baby this year, and the United States babies are last on the list of countries due to the varying time zones.