First baby of 2013

The first baby of the year. (Courtesy Photo)
The first baby of the year. (Courtesy Photo)

Story courtesy Toni Garrard Clay

ATHENS — The OB department at ETMC Athens delivers about 70 babies a month, but Ciara Kastner’s son falls into a unique category. At 6:07 p.m. Jan. 1, 2013, Ciara’s son took the distinction of being the first baby to be born at the hospital in the new year.

Clear-eyed Seth Roger Smith came into the world at a respectable 6 pounds, 8 ounces, measuring 18.25 inches in length. In addition to his mother, Seth is welcomed by his 1-year-old sister, Kailyn Smith, and his father, Josh Smith. The family makes their home in Mabank.

Seth was due Jan. 7, but decided to make his entrance a few days early.

“I think it’s amazing,” said Ciara of her son’s first-baby-of-the-year designation.

During her pregnancy, Ciara was under the care of Dr. Kathleen Knopp, and the baby was delivered by Dr. Jaspreet Sidhu. Ciara said before she went into labor, like most women great with child, she was very eager to deliver. “But when it was time to push, I was like, ‘No, no, no, no.’ I felt the baby was safer in there,” she said with a wry grin.

Her sudden reluctance is understandable in light of the tragedy that struck two years ago after Ciara and Josh lost their infant daughter, Savanna Rose, to an illness. But now, with a healthy daughter at home and a healthy son just delivered, Ciara is feeling “normal.”

“I love being a mother,” she said with great enthusiasm. “The way they look up to us and the love we get from them … It makes me feel important.”

Ciara said her hopes for Seth are simple. “I want him to be successful, to not give up on his dreams,” she said. “I want him to go to college.”

Simple aspirations can sometimes be the most profound.