Sunday, January 10, 2010
Twenty-five seconds after midnight, the first American baby born into 2010 popped into the world in a single push.
Her name is Jezariah Fausto Duenas and her birthday will forever be celebrated with fireworks. This annual miracle is celebrated on Guam every January.
"But now there is the twist to the story, though," said the baby's father, Joe Duenas of Ordot. "It's my birthday, too."
Duenas was born on Jan. 1, 1978 and his daughter was born yesterday. He has enjoyed the global holiday and two reasons to celebrate every birthday of his life. Now his daughter will enjoy the same, Duenas said.
So, as the cycle of New Year's babies continued, the father and daughter watched each other in a Guam Memorial Hospital room yesterday, curious and smiling.
The baby wasn't due to be born until later this month, but her mother learned on Tuesday her daughter would arrive sooner than expected. Bernadette Fausto said she had misinterpreted contractions for back pain, but eventually realized the time had come.
"Mom was great! Only one push and the baby was out," e-mailed Dr. Thomas Shieh shortly after attending to the delivery. "All the nurses had Happy New Year's' hats on," the doctor wrote to the Pacific Daily News, with the consent of the new baby's parents.
Duenas and Fausto went to GMH at about 5 p.m. Thursday night. Seven hours later, they had a tiny, quiet, inquisitive baby girl.
"When I woke up this morning I said 'God, thank you. Thank you for blessing me again," Fausto said.
Duenas, 32 and Fausto, 31, have been together for 13 years. They live in Ordot and have one other child.
Jezariah was named after her 5-year-old brother -- Jeremiah Zion Fausto Duenas -- who foretold her birth in a drawing months before his mother knew she was pregnant.
While visiting his class one day last year, Duenas and Fausto found a drawing of their family with a tiny baby floating in the clouds.
"We said, 'Son, who is that baby up there?' And he said that was his sister who was coming," Duenas said.
About three months later, Fausto discovered she was pregnant. The boy was right.
As the baby grew, Jeremiah became more attached. He was there for the ultrasound and thought his sister was dancing. Every day before school, he would hug his mother's belly and wish his baby sister goodbye.
Fausto would remind Jeremiah that she didn't know if the baby was a boy or a girl. Jeremiah said he was certain.
He was right again.
The first baby born on Guam each year is showered with gifts from local businesses. Jezariah is no exception.
The "I Love Guam New Year Baby" project was started by Archway Inc. in 2005 and has grown significantly each year, according to a press release from the company.
"Every year, the number of contributors of this event gets larger and larger and they do it without any hesitation," said Archway Marketing Director Hank Rice. "At the end of the day, it is all about helping out and welcoming the first and newest American, born in the USA. No other state or territory in the (United States) can claim this"
Fausto said the donations would be a tremendous help raising her new child.
"Just having her here for the New Year's is a gift, and then to have people come in with gifits, it just makes it so much more blessed," Fausto said.
By Brett Kelman • Pacific Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org • January 2, 2010