She may be the ninth baby born in her family, but Carolyn Rose McKelvy can still stake a claim to No. 1.
The newest addition to the McKelvy clan was born at 10:46 a.m. Jan. 2, making her the first baby born at Indiana Regional Medical Center in 2014.
She weighed 8 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 20 inches long.
On Friday, baby Carolyn and mom, Christine McKelvy, 38, were discharged from the hospital to the family’s Armstrong Township home.
There, she joins siblings Michael, 16; David, 14; Lauren, 12; Aaron, 10; Natalie, 8; Anna, 6; Adam, 4; and Julia, 2.
“We didn’t expect to be the first on the second,” said dad Matthew McKelvy, 41. “So we were really excited to hear that it was a slow day the day before.”
That’s just the way it goes certain years, according to Lori Hennessey, Maternity Center Unit manager.
“It happens sometimes that we don’t have a New Year’s baby,” she said. “If there’s not one born on New Year’s Day, typically it does occur by the next day.”
While not the McKelvy family’s first child, Carolyn represents another first — she’s the first of their babies to be born at IRMC.
In the past, Matthew McKelvy said, they’ve always worked with a midwife to give birth at home. With their midwives retiring, they planned to go to IRMC, an experience that the owner of McKelvy Works property maintenance company describes as being “very pleasant.”
The fact that being born on Jan. 2 made Carolyn the first IRMC baby of 2014 was a bit of a surprise for mom — and likely, a welcome one.
“She was 16 days late, so I was hoping for December,” Christine McKelvy said. “At Christmas time, I was hoping she would be a Christmas baby, just to have her.”
“But she’s worth the wait, for sure.”
In an interesting twist, Christine McKelvy pointed out that her family already celebrates something akin to “Christmas in July” each summer when they have birthday parties for their children Lauren, Aaron and Anna — all born on July 25.
The stay-at-home mom who home-schools her kids said the holidays went off without a hitch, up to and including New Year’s Eve.
“We made it through all the holidays, but we planned nothing, because we expected a baby,” she said.
“I didn’t care if she was the first of the year, but it’s been a treat, for sure.”
As proud parents of the first baby born at the hospital in 2014, the couple received a $200 Walmart gift card from the maternity department.
Rounding out the first three 2014 births at IRMC were two other not-quite-New Year’s babies.
Chelsey Astolas, 20, and Jayden Hardy, also 20, of Indiana, welcomed Hannah Marie into the world at 6:17 p.m. Jan. 2. She weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce, and was 18.5 inches long.
Like Christine McKelvy, Astolas said she was hoping for a Christmas baby. Her due date was Dec. 28.
The first boy of the new year born at IRMC was to Katelyn Castro, 22, and Jason Strouse, 30, of Blairsville.
Newborn Jesse weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 18 inches long.
Unlike the other the other two babies, he was born earlier than anticipated. His due date was Jan. 7.
“I didn’t expect it. I expected somebody to have one on the first,” said mom Castro. “It’s kind of cool, having the third baby born in the new year.”