New Year’s babies give parents a reason to hope, dream

Nicole Howard went to bed early on New Year’s Eve and still ended up sleeping inadequately.

Three weeks after her due date, the expectant mother woke up around midnight with what felt like muscle soreness in her back.

So she did what any selfless wife does when you are in labor and your husband is in his third year of medical school: She let him enjoy some much-needed rest.

Howard did not wake his happily ignorant husband until it was time to take a trip to the hospital around noon.

“I appreciated the consideration there, but I would probably rather have been awakened because it was a pretty big shock,” James Howard said.

The Woodridge couple received their first child, a boy with tufts of strawberry blonde hair, at 9:13 a.m. Saturday at Edward Hospital in Naperville, making him one of the first babies of 2022.

Howards had not yet chosen a name for their son, and they slept peacefully Saturday afternoon. You could say he takes after his father.

“He’s been quiet,” Nicole Howard said. “I’m surprised. He rolled around a lot in his stomach.”

The increase in Omicron and the COVID-19 visit restrictions made the usual tumult in the maternity wards more subdued. Parents felt the absence of relatives who would meet the newest members of their families through photos or video.

Proud parents Shurel Jordan and Tewayne Kennedy introduced their first daughter, Trinidy, born at. 4:36 at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, for the little girl’s grandparents and her brother, Masiah, over FaceTime.

“A couple of family members have already seen a picture of her and they called me via video,” said Jordan, who hopes to bring his 5-pound, 10.5-ounce bundle of sweetness home to Des Plaines Sunday. “It can stay that way until she’s a little bit older. She’s still brand new. So to keep her and everyone else safe, that’s probably what I want to do anyway.”

But nothing, not even a pandemic, could remove the indescribable joy of a new life coming in a new year.

“She’s a blessing and she’s good luck,” said Jordan, who had a high-risk pregnancy. “I feel like she’s been lucky because she came New Year’s Day and it’s like for me it’s a fresh start, for her, for me and the rest of the family.”


Semani Lowe and Darius Wilson welcomed Savion Rhaum-Xavier Wilson at.  6:43 New Year's Day at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.

Semani Lowe and Darius Wilson welcomed Savion Rhaum-Xavier Wilson at. 6:43 New Year’s Day at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.
– Lent by Advocate Health Care

In Elgin, Semani Lowe and Darius Wilson celebrated the new year with Savion Rhaum-Xavier Wilson, born 7 pounds, at. 6:43 a.m. at Advocate Sherman Hospital.

Callum Brock Parvis was born at 1:04, born 6 pounds, 3 ounces, at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove to mom and dad Kristin and Heath Parvis from Palos Park.



Whitney Diane Beary is the third child of Cassandra and Chris Beary of Sugar Grove.  She was born at  1:46 New Year's Day at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva.

Whitney Diane Beary is the third child of Cassandra and Chris Beary of Sugar Grove. She was born at 01.46 New Year’s Day at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva.
– With permission from Northwestern Medicine

Whitney Diane Beary was the first baby born in 2022 at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva. She came in at 01.46 New Year’s Day. The little girl, 8 pounds, 14 ounces, is the third child of Sugar Grove parents Cassandra and Chris Beary. She has an older sister, Willa, 4, an older brother, Teddy, 2, and a “furry sibling” Daisy, the family’s dachshund.

Together with his wife, in recovery at Edward Hospital, James Howard adapted to the “surreal” feeling of being a new father. But in a strange and uncertain time, he let himself be hoped and dreamed for his son’s future.

“Just to be happy and healthy,” he said.

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