Happy New Year, Baby

Mercy Medical Center’s first 2012 baby, Alexis Luisa King, snoozes in the arms of her father Larry King. Mom Mary Worwood holds the Anderson couple’s eldest daughter, Kaylee King, age 2.















Infant Alexis Luisa King’s parents never expected their little girl to be the first child born on New Year’s Day at Mercy Hospital. For one thing, Alexis wasn’t due for a few more days. Also, once labor started a bit after 4 a.m. on Jan. 1, the parents assumed that surely by then someone else must have already claimed the New Year’s baby title.

Apparently not. Alexis, who weighed in at 7 pounds  9 ounces, arrived at 8:59 a.m. on New Year’s Day, giving her the official distinction of the first baby born in 2012 at Mercy Medical Center in Redding.

Later that afternoon, her parents, 44-year-old Larry King and 23-year-old Mary of Anderson, took turns holding the sleeping baby as they smiled for photos and answered media questions.
The baby’s father, Larry King, is a Shasta College culinary arts student, while Mary is a stay-at-home mom.  This is the couple’s second child. Their first is Kaylee, age 2, who, with her pink “Big Sister” T-shirt, seemed smitten with the new baby, especially when she got a chance to hold her.
“I love her,” Kaylee said quietly when her parents allowed the toddler to hold Alexis, with a little help.
“I was ready for her to come out,” said Mary as she looked down at the sleeping baby, whom Mary said looks just like Kaylee, and both girls “all the way” resemble their dad.
“This is a very nice blessing,” said Larry, who added that he liked having his daughter born on New Year’s Day.
As for the mother, Mary,  she said she felt excited, tired and happy about the baby’s birth, but admitted that she had other things in mind when it became clear that her daughter was coming.
“I was just hoping she’d be an easy and pain-free labor.”
And well, was it?
“No,” she said with a laugh.
Even so, the mother said all is well now, and they’ll be going home tomorrow; Mary, Larry and their two girls.
A new year. A new life.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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