Metro-East News

Me first! A look at the first local New Year’s baby

It's a girl! First local baby of the new year born at St. Elizabeth's

The first baby born in 2017 in the Belleville-O'Fallon area was born at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, IL. Sawyer, a girl, was born to Alayna Morton and James Eads of Dupo, IL.
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The first baby born in 2017 in the Belleville-O'Fallon area was born at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, IL. Sawyer, a girl, was born to Alayna Morton and James Eads of Dupo, IL.

Alayna Morton has special plans for her newborn daughter’s birthday parties.

Sawyer was born at 12:17 a.m. on New Year’s Day at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville and was the first baby born in 2017 in the Belleville and O’Fallon hospitals.

Times Square can have its countdown on New Year’s Eve. And Morton says Sawyer will have her celebration for the new year: “She’ll have a countdown to her own birthday,” Morton said.

“We were trying to get her in before the New Year’s, (sic) but she did it on her own schedule and ended up being one of the first ones of the year, so it’s really nice for her,” said Sawyer’s dad, James Eads.

She’ll have a countdown to her own birthday.

Alayna Morton

“This will be an extra special birthday party. Most people will be off school and work so they will be able to attend,” Eads said.

Morton, 24, of Dupo was scheduled to check in at St. Elizabeth’s at 8 p.m. Thursday because doctors had planned to induce labor.

But Sawyer wasn’t moved at first and didn’t make her appearance until Morton had about 10 hours of active labor.

“She just wasn’t having it until she was ready,” Morton said.

Morton said Sawyer arrived at 7 pounds, 5 ounces and passed all of her first day health checks.

The couple said they decided on the name Sawyer after they recently spotted it on the wall of the St. Elizabeth’s maternity ward when they visited the hospital when a family member gave birth. The maternity ward features the names and footprints of babies delivered at St. Elizabeth’s.

As Thursday night moved into Saturday night, Morton remembers people around her talking about whether Sawyer would be born in 2016 or in the new year.

“Everyone kept saying it, like between being the last baby or the first baby, and I was just ready to have it,” Morton said. “I wanted to have her as soon as possible.”

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