YOUNGSTOWN - Jennifer Bair was hoping her baby would be born on New Year's Day, but she didn't expect Mya to be the first one.
Mya was born at 3:22 a.m. Tuesday, a few days shy of her Jan. 5 due date. She was the first of five babies born early that morning at Northside Medical Center in Youngstown, weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring 19 inches long.
"I was terrified," Bair recalled when she went into labor around 1 a.m. Tuesday.
Tribune Chronicle / Bonnie L. Hazen
Jennifer Bair, 30, of Boardman, holds her newborn daughter, Mya Thompson, Tuesday at Northside Medical Center in Youngstown. Mya was the first of five babies born on New Year’s Day at the hospital.
She was in labor for 36 hours with no epidural to dull the pain with her previous child, Markus, who is now 5 years old. This time, she opted to take the epidural.
"She had a great pregnancy," said her physician, Dr. Michelle Kapon, who practices in family medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics, and she will remain Mya's primary care physician as she grows. "She pushed for two hours."
Bair said at one point, she just wanted the baby to come out.
" I said chop chop! Come on," Kapon recalled. "You did really, really well," she said to Bair, explaining that Mya's shoulders were positioned perfectly when she was born.
Mya's father, Josh Thompson, said Markus was excited to meet his new baby sister.
"He just had a big smile on his face," Thompson said, with a smile of his own.
Bair had no problems during her pregnancy, with the exception of a two-week bout with the flu about a month ago, during which time she was miserable, Thompson said.
Bair said she's glad it's over as she is now able to hold her baby in her arms.
"She pretty much only cries when she's hungry," Bair said as Mya slept quietly, wrapped in her pink receiving blanket.
Thompson said Mya often likes to hold her arms up over her face, as if she's hiding, and even held that position while still in the womb.
The couple smiled as they cuddled Mya, and welcomed visits from family and friends to meet the new addition to their family.
"I was a little surprised" that Mya was born on New Year's day, said her uncle, Brian Pretoka.
His wife, Kim, wasn't that surprised. "I guess we kind of knew it was going to be coming," she said.