By Mary O’KEEFE
With all the turmoil, fear and positive COVID-19 tests of 2020 and, unfortunately, the turbulent beginning of 2021, there is one tradition that not even a pandemic can put a damper on … the first baby of the New Year.
USC Verdugo Hills Hospital announced the arrival of its first baby of 2021. Born at 4:48 a.m. on Jan. 1 to Julyana Tekin and husband Arbi Vartanian, baby boy Thomas brought a sense of peace into a world full of uncertainty. He weighed in at 7.9 ounces and was 20 inches long.
“Perfect. In my eyes perfect,” Tekin said of her beautiful baby boy.
This is the couple’s first child and was a bit of a New Year’s surprise.
“I called my mom and said we would see them on New Year’s Eve,” she said.
Her parents have been isolating by keeping safer at home. Tekin had to call them back though to tell them she was going to be in the hospital.
Thomas was not expected to make his debut for about another three weeks but he had other ideas. Tekin went into the hospital on Dec. 30; her doctor was concerned about her high blood pressure and wanted to induce labor.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only her birth partner, her husband, was allowed to be in the hospital with her.
“It was a [little] lonely. I have seen friends and siblings have babies. You get to go [into the hospital],” she said.
Tekin has a large family and, in pre-COVID days, they all would be in the waiting room awaiting the birth of the baby. Though it was a quieter time that did not stop her family and friends from pooling their guesses on when the baby would be born, and if the couple would have the first baby of the New Year.
“That was the fun part. We were all making bets of when [I would] give birth,” she said.
She was started on Pitocin, a medication to induce labor, on Dec. 31 and thought she would give birth on that Thursday but Thomas took a little longer.
Tekin said they were surprised when everyone cheered them after the birth and congratulated them on having the first New Year baby.
“Everyone at the hospital was amazing,” she said. “And I want to say thank you to the [Crescenta Valley] Chamber of Commerce for the basket.”
The CVCOC gifted the couple with a basket that included donations from Panos Productions Photography, Merle Norman Cosmetics in Montrose, Once Upon a Time Bookstore, Quilt ’n’ Things Fiber Arts and other gifts from the board members.
“That was a really nice surprise,” she added.
Now Thomas is home with his mom and dad, and grandma is there to help as well. They will continue to isolate until they feel it is safe to have in-person introductions.
For now they are just enjoying their perfect New Year addition.