Ali Stewart is first New Year's baby 1998

January 01, 1998

Ali Stewart is first New Year's baby 1998


Staff Writer

Angela Willison and Robert Stewart planned to move into their new apartment Thursday night. They wanted to settle in before their baby, due on Jan. 8, was born.

Their schedule changed Thursday morning when Ali Nicole Stewart became the first New Year's baby born at Washington County Hospital.

"I'd had a couple of dreams a couple of weeks ago that she was going to be a New Year's baby," Willison said Thursday afternoon, cradling the sleeping infant.

In fact, shortly after ringing the New Year, Willison, 21, had urged Ali's arrival.

"I told her around 12:30 a.m., 'Anywhere from now until about 23 1/2 hours from now, you can come out,'" Willison said.


She doesn't know if it was her plea or the pizza and double chocolate cake she had for dinner, but Ali complied. Willison went into labor at 6:15 a.m. Thursday.

It's Willison's third child and Stewart's first.

"I'd seen the head and I thought I was going to faint a couple times," Stewart said with a grin.

Aside from being a good omen, Stewart, 25, said a New Year's baby has other advantages.

"We'll never forget when her birthday is," Stewart said.

Ali, named for a baby alligator seen on a nature show, wasn't the only baby who ignored the due date.

The first baby born in the Tri-State area, delivered in Chambersburg (Pa.) Hospital, was five days late. So was Frederick Memorial Hospital's first New Year's day delivery.

Diane Tester, of Greencastle, Pa., was looking forward to crawling into bed and getting a good night's sleep after a New Year's Eve celebration in Frederick, Md. Her baby had other plans.

"As soon as we got into bed, my water broke. I think the last thing her dad said to me was, 'I shouldn't have had those four beers,'" Tester said Thursday.

About two hours later, Catherine Elizabeth Speak was born. Tester and Catherine's father, Gregg Speak, figured theirs wouldn't be the first baby born in Chambersburg Hospital, much less the Tri-State area.

"She's a celebrity," Tester said.

Catherine is Tester's third child and Speak's first. Tester's two boys, ages 9 and 7, are delighted at having a baby sister, she said.

"We're blessed. The best part is she's perfect. She's a dainty little beauty," Tester said.

Just an hour later, Audra and Gregory Leonard of Frederick welcomed their first child, Christopher Jeremiah Leonard, at Frederick Memorial Hospital. He also arrived five days behind schedule.

"He's late, like his mom," Audra joked Thursday from her hospital room. "I couldn't believe it. My mother said it would be a boy and a New Year's baby. I guess mothers know. It was a wonderful shock."

Elsewhere in the Tri-State area, there were no reported births at City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va., or Waynesboro Hospital in Waynesboro, Pa., by Thursday evening.

The Herald-Mail Articles