(Diane L. Wilson)
"Everybody kept saying I was going to have the New Year's baby, but I didn't believe them because I wasn't due until Jan. 10," said the proud mother, Lakita Deberry, a senior at Central High School in Cape Girardeau.
"But they just kept on saying it so maybe it was meant to be,"
After almost 12 hours of labor, Deberry was able to cradle 6-pound, 6-ounce Amariyah Peet for the first time.
"She came early," Deberry said. "It's a good sign, I hope 2007 will be better than the last one."
Amariyah had plenty of support Monday with new grandmother Jenita Atwater of Decatur, Ill., and new great-grandmother Geraldine Smith of Cape Girardeau beaming from ear to ear at her bedside.
Atwater has been in town for the last week and says she had a mother's premonition that this child was coming early.
"I didn't think it was going to be too long, because she'd been having back pains for a while now," Smith said. "It's just such a blessing to have her."
The whole family will pitch in to help take care of the baby until Lakita graduates in May.
They'll have a little extra help in the baby supply department. Southeast Missouri Hospital provides a gift basket filled with items for newborns including a hand-crocheted blanket. Lakita will get a flower arrangement for being the first mother of 2007.
335-6611, extension 245