Mesa County welcomes its first baby of 2024

Mesa County has a new reason to celebrate the New Year: the birth of its first baby of 2024. The baby girl, named Lila Grace, was born at 12:07 a.m. on January 1, 2024 at Community Hospital in Grand Junction. She weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 19 inches long.

A special delivery

Lila Grace is the first child of Ashley and Ryan Smith, who moved to Mesa County from Denver six months ago. The couple said they were surprised and excited to have the first baby of the year.

“We didn’t expect it at all. We thought she would come a few days earlier or later, but she decided to make a grand entrance on New Year’s Day,” Ashley said. “We are so happy and grateful for this blessing.”

Ryan said he was proud of his wife and daughter, who are both healthy and doing well. He said he was looking forward to spending time with his new family and introducing Lila Grace to their relatives and friends.

Mesa County welcomes its first baby of 2024

“She is beautiful and perfect. She has her mom’s eyes and nose, and my hair and chin. She is a mix of both of us,” Ryan said. “We can’t wait to see her grow and learn new things every day.”

A warm welcome

The staff at Community Hospital were also delighted to welcome the first baby of 2024. They presented the Smith family with a gift basket that included a blanket, a onesie, a stuffed animal, a book, and a certificate. They also congratulated them and wished them all the best.

“We are honored and thrilled to be part of this special moment. It is always a joy to deliver babies, but the first one of the year is extra special,” said Dr. Jennifer Lee, the obstetrician who delivered Lila Grace. “We are proud of our team and our facility, and we are committed to providing the best care for our patients and their families.”

Nancy Foster, the director of women’s services at Community Hospital, said the hospital delivers about 1,200 babies every year, and the first one of the year is always a highlight. She said the hospital has a tradition of celebrating the first baby of the year with a gift basket and a media announcement.

“It is a fun and festive way to start the year. We want to share the joy and excitement with the community and the media. We also want to recognize and appreciate our staff, who work hard and dedicate themselves to their profession,” Foster said.

A bright future

The Smith family said they are looking forward to their future as a family of three. They said they have received a lot of support and love from their family, friends, and neighbors, and they are grateful for their new home in Mesa County.

“We love it here. It is a beautiful place with friendly people and a lot of opportunities. We feel like we belong here,” Ashley said. “We are excited to raise our daughter here and give her the best life possible.”

Ryan said he hopes that Lila Grace will grow up to be a happy, healthy, and successful person. He said he has a lot of dreams and hopes for her, but the most important thing is that she is loved and happy.

“We want her to know that she is special and unique, and that she can do anything she sets her mind to. We want her to be confident, curious, and compassionate. We want her to enjoy life and make a positive difference in the world,” Ryan said. “We will always be there for her, no matter what.”

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