Spencer and Valerie thought their first baby might arrive as a Christmas present. After all, Valerie was due on Dec. 30, and had started having contractions about a week before.

But baby Hannah held out, making her appearance just six seconds after midnight on New Years Day weighing in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces and measuring 19 and a half inches long.

The Pleasant Grove couple, who asked that only their first names be used, said they hadn’t really considered they might have the first baby of 2018 in the state of Utah.

Valerie was admitted to Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem around noon on Sunday, but didn’t expect 12 hours to pass before she delivered Hannah.

“We really thought it would happen sooner, like around 6 (p.m.) or 9 (p.m.),” Valerie said. “But it just took a long time. When it was around 10 (p.m.), I just felt like it was so hard.”

The time of birth is typically called as soon as the whole baby’s body has been delivered, according to hospital staff.

Normally, only the hour and minutes are logged for time of birth, said Mike Graul, communications director for Timpanogos Regional Hospital, but the doctors noted the seconds for Hannah because they realized she would likely be the first baby born for the year.

“If you look at the chart, it just says midnight on Jan. 1,” Graul said.

Spencer said when they found out she was the first baby born in the whole state, they were surprised. But he said he was just happy mom and baby were both healthy following a difficult pregnancy for Valerie.

“It was just really hard for her,” Spencer said. “She had nausea the whole time, really bad the whole nine months, and it was just a big struggle.”

But Valerie said in the end, little Hannah was worth the difficult pregnancy.

“Every single pain and every single struggle that I went through, it’s just really, really worth it,” Valerie said.

“We couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Spencer added.

The first baby born of 2018 at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo made his appearance at 12:49 a.m., said Janet Frank, spokeswoman for Intermountain Healthcare in Utah County.

He weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19 inches long. His parents are Younjung and Ammon Morgan. More babies are born at Utah Valley Hospital than any other hospital in the state, according to Intermountain Healthcare.

American Fork Hospital’s first baby of 2018 wasn’t born until 5:47 a.m., Frank said.

She weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 18 inches long. Her parents are Brinlie Warden and Zo Klimowicz.

Katie England covers politics, the environment and courts for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2599 or kengland@heraldextra.com.

Katie England covers politics, county government and southern Utah County for the Daily Herald. She can be reached at 801-344-2599 or kengland@heraldextra.com.

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