Bay Area welcomes its first babies of 2019

SAN JOSE — Sue Naing and Greg Pankowski never believed their daughter would be among the first babies to be born in the Bay Area in 2019, but she was everything they had envisioned.

“Very beautiful,” said Naing, of San Jose, as she soothed the squalling newborn at Regional Medical Center in San Jose on New Year’s Day. “This is how we imagined her coming into our lives.”

Born about 12:45 a.m., Olivia Pankowski was the first baby to be delivered in Santa Clara County and the third overall in the Bay Area, according to a telephone survey of hospitals in the region. She was due Dec. 31, but Naing’s doctor had expected her earlier because of her size.

First-place honors went to a girl who was born about 12:25 a.m. at the Northbay Medical Center in Fairfield to Elesha Matte and Kamehameha Quitugua, of Fairfield. One minute later, Elian Robles and Alejandro Garcia, of Byron, welcomed the second baby to be born in the Bay Area — and the first in the East Bay — at the Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch.

Matte and Quitugua already had a name picked out for their 8-pound, 5-ounce girl: Keani.

“It means ‘an ocean breeze’ or ‘the breeze that carries the wave,’ ” Matte said in a telephone interview.

Keani is the couple’s 10th child. Like Naing and Pankowski, Matte and Quitugua didn’t anticipate their daughter being born on New Year’s Day, though others had joked about it.

“It’s totally a coincidence,” said Matte, a stay-at-home parent. “Everybody was like, ‘You’re going to have a New Year’s baby.’ I was like, ‘No, we don’t have control over that. When she comes, she comes.’ ”

Robles was also surprised to give birth to the East Bay’s first baby of the year. Her due date was Jan. 6.

“It’s kind of weird,” said Robles, a stay-at-home parent. “I didn’t think he was going to be born on New Year’s Day.”

Robles and Garcia named their 8-pound, 11-ounce boy Eros, after the son of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. He is the couple’s fourth child.

“He’s pretty cute,” Robles said.

While Olivia Pankowski wasn’t the first baby to be born in the Bay Area in 2019, she was the largest of the three at 9 pounds.

“She’s a big healthy girl,” said Naing, a stay-at-home parent, who wore a gown to match her daughter’s pink and green polka dot ensemble.

And vocal, as her 3-year-old brother Enzo noted during an interview at Regional Medical Center.

“Baby is crying!” Enzo exclaimed.

Naing and her husband thanked Dr. Phuong Nguyen and the rest of the labor and delivery team for their work on a holiday most people spend celebrating with loved ones.

“We deeply appreciate their work,” Naing said.

Back in Fairfield, Matte snuggled with a “very observant and alert” Keani. Matte might not have expected her daughter to arrive on New Year’s Day, but the mother of four boys and now six girls knew one thing for certain.

“She is definitely our last one,” Matte said with a laugh.

Source: mercurynews
Bay Area welcomes its first babies of 2019