New Year’s Day always rings in with all sorts of hopes and dreams offering endless possibilities for the year ahead.
A chance to start fresh, refocus and celebrate the joys in life.
And for some, even a new bundle of joy.
A full 8 pounds, 8 ounces of joy.
Paige and Jake Bouman, of Caledonia, Michigan, celebrated New Year’s Day at Corewell Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids by welcoming Maisey to the family.
For this couple, the day was bright despite the cold wet weather outside.
Maisey Bouman was born at 9:04 a.m., making her one of the first babies of the new year at Corewell Health West.
On the other side of Michigan, Rachael McCarty and Richard Harley Zimmerman welcomed Lillith Kathryn Zimmerman at 12:32 a.m., Jan. 1, at Corewell Health Grosse Pointe Hospital, the new name for Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe.
“It’s surreal,” Rachael said of having the first baby of the new year at Corewell Health East.
Corewell Health East celebrated the first baby at each of its hospitals with a gift bag containing a custom onesie: “2023 First Baby of the Year—Corewell Health.”
A receptionist and server in the food and beverage industry, Rachael said a number of her customers had been predicting she wouldn’t make it to her Jan. 4 due date and she would instead have a New Year’s baby.
“It’s funny because one of them actually is an emergency doctor at Troy Beaumont, and he was like, ‘I betcha you have the first baby of the new year,'” she said. “And what are the odds? I’m just happy she’s here and she’s healthy.”
In West Michigan, Maisey’s celebration started early New Year’s Day, as Paige and Jake arrived at the hospital around 1 a.m. Paige went into labor closer to 7 a.m., with Maisey entering the world shortly thereafter.
Swaddled in the traditional hospital onesie, her parents smiled down on her with big bright eyes.
“She wasn’t due until Jan. 5, so this was definitely a surprise,” Jake said.
Maisey joins her brother Henry, 5, and sister Sawyer, 3.
“They were excited to have a sleepover with grandma and grandpa last night,” Paige said. “But are even more excited about having a new sister.”
Paige said Sawyer has always wanted a sister, so she got her New Year’s wish.
“It will definitely be a fun birthday to have for a little one,” she said.
Paige and Jake were torn between the names Maisey and Josie, but compromised with the middle name of Jo, named after Paige’s grandmother.
“We just hope that she’s happy in her new home with her new siblings,” Paige said. “She’s eating on her own already and everything is looking good.”
Mom and dad looked down at her with big bright eyes and smiled.
“We don’t know any other Maiseys,” dad said.
Paige and Jake are practicing skin-to-skin care and holding her as much as they can to create the special bond that develops between baby and parent.
“Her sister, Sawyer, wants to carry and hold her. And Henry wants to be the boss of both sisters,” Paige said.
The family hopes to head home Monday and make the official introduction to siblings at home.
“We’re just so happy to have this new addition to our family,” Paige said.
Happy and content
Lillith was born weighing 7 pounds, 0.4 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches long.
Her parents, both 27 and from Roseville, Michigan, said Lillith will be welcomed home by two brothers—one born in December 2021, the other born in February 2020.
“Before we knew the gender, we were kind of like stressing because we had two boys already and we were really hoping for a girl,” Harley, her dad, said. “So once we did the gender reveal for that, we were already ecstatic.”
Mom and dad said they’re happy and content with their family and their New Year’s Day addition.
“We’d be happy if she was a grand finale,” Rachael said.