By CAROLYN LUCAS-ZENK
As residents were ringing in the new year with fireworks, 35-year-old Sonja Enos was in labor at North Hawaii Community Hospital, preparing to welcome the latest addition to her family.
Enos of Kealakekua gave birth to a healthy, 9-pound, 21-inch-tall girl at 2:49 a.m. Tuesday. The newborn, named Quetzalli, is her third child and first daughter. She is also Hawaii Island’s first baby of 2013.
While her daughter was expected around the holidays, Enos did not think she would arrive on New Year’s Day. She said Quetzalli was about eight days overdue.
As the days went by, anxiousness and excitement started to mount. Still the family carried on normally, including spending the day at Hapuna Beach on Dec. 30. Then, during her scheduled appointment on New Year’s Eve at the Waimea Women’s Center, Enos got a surprise when told she was dilating.
Enos went to the hospital around 9 a.m. Labor was long and tiring. Enos recalled how strange and special it was hearing the town’s festivities during the end of the delivery. When Quetzalli arrived, Enos said she felt relief, joy and was in awe. “She’s so beautiful,” she added.
For Enos, having a New Year’s baby is special. She said this new life symbolizes a new beginning, fresh starts and endless possibilities. Quetzalli isn’t the only one in the family with the distinction. Her cousin also has a Jan. 1 birthday.
Enos said her sons, 7-year-old Talon and 9-year-old Tiger, are “super excited” about their little sister. They were already asking to hold her.
“I have two very energetic, wild, fun-loving boys. It will be nice to have some more feminine energy,” she said.
Hours later, Kona Community Hospital’s first baby of the new year arrived at 7:04 a.m. Tuesday. Kona parents Jaioline Heckerz and Joseph Wase, both 24, had not yet named their daughter as of press time.
The healthy, happy girl weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces and was 19 inches tall. She was “a big surprise,” Wase said, adding his “cute” daughter was either born ahead of schedule or her due date of Jan. 13 was incorrect.
According to Wase, his wife began feeling the twinges of labor while they were at a New Year’s Eve party, complete with fireworks, in Ocean View. They immediately headed to the hospital. The delivery was hard, and Wase admired his wife’s strength.
“The timing was a surprise, but meant to be,” he said. “We want to thank God for our little princess.”
The couple has a 1-year-old son, Kam, who was already enamored of his sister, giving her lots of kisses. “He’s so excited, and we feel blessed,” Wase said.
At 10 a.m. Tuesday, Hilo Medical Center had not delivered any New Year’s babies, according to its obstetrics staff.
Email Carolyn Lucas-Zenk at firstname.lastname@example.org.