Baby New Year: Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital welcomes first baby of 2018

First-time parents Destinee Cross and Dan Cameron of Manistee welcome their newborn son, Kai, to the world. Kai was the first baby of 2018 to be delivered at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

First-time parents Destinee Cross and Dan Cameron of Manistee welcome their newborn son, Kai, to the world. Kai was the first baby of 2018 to be delivered at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

MANISTEE COUNTY — Precious little Kai remained patient through the holidays, packing a giant dose of determination into a tiny frame.

Despite being due on Christmas Eve, Kai was determined to do things his way, so he waited for an even grander entrance.

And on Tuesday morning — at 7:57 a.m. on Jan. 2 to be exact — he was the first baby of 2018 to be delivered at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital.

Weighing 9 pounds, 5 ounces and measuring 22 inches long, the hospital’s latest “Baby New Year” was welcomed into the loving arms of his proud, first-time parents Destinee Cross and Dan Cameron, of Manistee.

“It was very emotional, for sure,” said Dan of the birth.

“I was in labor for 24 hours and, really, the day was a blur,” said Destinee. “It’s like the longest wait of your life. We’re so glad he’s finally here.”

As of Wednesday morning, three babies had been delivered in the new year at Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital’s Maternal and Newborn Center, Kai of course leading the charge.

According to its records, the hospital saw 265 births in 2017.

In celebration of his new-year birth, Kai and family were given a gift basket of baby care items, courtesy of the maternal and newborn center’s staff.

Observing the birth of a community’s first baby in the new year stems from the symbolic “Baby New Year,” which dates back 4,000 years.

Baby New Year — generally representing rebirth — began in ancient Greece, around 600 B.C. The Greeks believed Dionysus, the God of Wine, was reborn as the spirit of fertility in the new year and they would celebrate with a parade, featuring a newborn baby in a basket, who represented this rebirth.

In the United States, the modern depiction of Baby New Year — often times wearing a top hat, sash and diaper — became popular at the dawn of the 20th century when the “Saturday Evening Post” began publishing humorous illustrations of babies on the covers of its year-end editions.

Over time, many local communities embraced the tradition of celebrating its first baby delivered in the new year by alerting the local news media for coverage and providing the family with gifts.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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