Ila Kay sure knows how to make an entrance.
The first baby born in 2017 at the Family Birthplace at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, she picked a memorable date―and a memorable time: 2:22 a.m.
“I think she’s perfect,” said her mother, Melody Rottman.
“She’s beautiful,” agreed proud father, Michael Tait. “Absolutely beautiful.”
The couple didn’t expect a New Year’s baby at first. Ila Kay was due Feb. 11. But two weeks ago, Rottman’s water broke at 32 weeks into her pregnancy.
She stayed in Butterworth Hospital until the morning of Dec. 31, when her doctor induced labor.
Even then, Rottman thought she would have a New Year’s Eve baby―not a Jan. 1 arrival.
“I just wanted to have her out and be healthy,” she said.
But her parents were glad to welcome the first newborn of 2017.
“It will be an awesome memory for all of us,” Tait said. “As Ila grows up, it will be a great story for her.”
Ila Kay arrived weighing 4 pounds, 15 ounces. She is staying in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, but her parents said she is doing well.
“She’s small, but she’s healthy,” Tait said. “One of the big worries was her lungs, but her lungs are doing really good.”
“She’s doing awesome,” Rottman said. “She is very alert. She’s content. She’s a very strong little girl.”
The parents named the baby Ila Kay in honor of her paternal grandmother and great grandmother.
“Daddy’s grandma is named Ila. And Daddy’s mom’s middle name is Kay,” Rottman said.
At their home in Muskegon, Michigan, three older siblings look forward to welcoming the new baby―Kegan, 14, Conner, 9, and Breanna, 7.
“She’s in good hands,” Rottman said. “They are so good with babies. They are so excited.”
A holiday tradition
After Ila Kay, only one other baby was born overnight as 2017 dawned at Butterworth Hospital―a little girl born to Felicia Campbell and Micheal Spears.
It didn’t surprise Campbell a bit when her baby arrived on New Year’s Day. Holiday birthdays run in the family.
Her first daughter, Mya, was born Thanksgiving Day 2008. Her son, Jeremiah, arrived on Valentine’s Day 2010.
When she learned the due date for her third baby was the day after Christmas, Campbell had a feeling this baby would get in the holiday spirit, too.
“I thought I’m going to have a Christmas baby or a New Year’s baby,” she said.
That was fine with her. A holiday makes a memorable event especially memorable.
At 5:44 a.m. Jan. 1, she gave birth to a beautiful chubby-cheeked girl with a full head of dark hair. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 20 inches long.
Early Sunday afternoon, as the parents tried to decide on the baby’s name, the older siblings looked forward to visiting their little sister.
“They are truly and deeply excited to meet her,” Campbell said.
The baby seemed ready to handle the excitement.
“She’s pretty mellow,” Campbell said. “She’s really into being swaddled. If she’s swaddled up, she’s really calm and relaxed.”
Starting off the new year with a new baby, Campbell said she looked forward to “great things” in 2017.
“I can’t really (be) specific,” she said. “But I just know there’s going to be great things.”