Photo by Corinne Nicholson
COVINGTON -- Dressed in a pink onesie, a head full of jet black hair, tiny Ramiya Denise Smith was sleeping soundly, only moving for an occasional stretch, Monday afternoon, unaware that her birth a few days earlier made history in Newton County.
Ramiya was the first baby born in 2010 and the first baby born this decade at Newton Medical Center. She came into the world at 1:13 a.m. New Year's Day, weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces and measuring 19 inches long.
Her mother, Francheska Wesley, predicted she would have a New Year's baby, though Ramiya wasn't due until Jan. 8. Wesley has four other children and said she's never carried a baby to full term.
"I said, 'She's coming New Year's,'" Wesley said, and sure enough, she began having contractions at about 10 p.m. New Year's Eve. Wesley had a friend take her to the hospital and by the time she got there, she was already dilated to seven centimeters. Forty-five minutes later, she delivered Ramiya.
Because the labor happened so quickly, Wesley was told she could not have pain medication.
"All I could say was, 'I can't,'" she recalled. "I didn't even know when it was New Year's. I didn't even hear, 'Happy New Year.' All I could feel was pain."
But out of great pain came a great blessing: Little Ramiya has already stolen her family's heart.
"She's three scoops of chocolate ice cream," aunt Teresa Cody said.
Wesley chose the name Ramiya because it is similar to the names of her other children: JeQuavious, 8; JeQuira, 5; Seriya, 2; and Mesiah, 1. Denise is also Wesley's mother's middle name.
With Ramiya's birth, being a New Year's baby is now a family tradition: Wesley's brother, Robert Lee Henderson Jr., was born Jan. 1, 1964.
"I just want her to grow up and be blessed. I want to experience Ramiya. Whatever her life has for her, I want it to be the best. I want her to understand she is so special," Wesley said of her new daughter.