First Baby of 2019

Parents Claudine Ma and Yi Shen Ma welcome baby Nicole at 12:09 a.m. on New Years Day.

As the world celebrated the arrival of 2019, Nicole Ma became the first baby of the year born at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. Parents Claudine Ma and Yi Shen Ma welcomed their new daughter only nine minutes after midnight.

“It’s an exciting time, and having the first baby of the new year makes it even more special,” Claudine said. “It’s great that everyone will be celebrating with her on her birthday, and we can look back and remember this special day.”

Newborn Nicole was measured at a height of 20 and a half inches and a weight of 7 pounds, 3 ounces. The name Nicole was chosen by the Ma’s older daughter who sat on the bed with her mother playing with her new little sister’s feet.

Claudine and her husband are no strangers to Loma Linda University Health. She’s a nurse in the intensive care unit in the medical center, and her husband teaches in the School of Religion. “This is our place,” Claudine said.

The New Year’s Day delivery was a smooth one, Claudine said.

“She’s about a week early, so it was a bit of a surprise,” Yi Shen said. The couple drove over an hour to have their baby girl at Children’s Hospital.

Nicole was showered with gifts from the Children’s Hospital after her birth, including a gift basket with goodies, onesies for the newborn, and sparkling apple cider for the parents to celebrate.

“It’s exciting to have the first baby born of the year,” Claudine said while cradling her newborn daughter. “One day, Nicole can look back and see how the community celebrated her birth with us.”