Dominik James Bridger was about two weeks early. But he was just on time -- by one minute -- to become the first baby born in 2013 at the three Tri-City hospitals.
Brianna Rabe, 20, of Grandview, gave birth to Dominik at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday at Richland's Kadlec Regional Medical Center.
On Tuesday afternoon, Dominik kept his eyes scrunched shut as he was passed from his parents' arms to relatives, and back again to his father, Cory Bridger, 26, who cuddled Dominik in his arms.
"He's so adorable," one relative says.
At 6 pounds, 15 ounces and 20 inches long, Dominik appears tiny, but Rabe said they've been assured he's perfectly healthy. He already has a head of thin dark hair.
She pulled too-big socks over his wee feet, which were slightly purple. The purple will fade, she said.
The second baby born in the Tri-Cities in 2013 was also born at Kadlec Regional Medical Center. Kelsey Lancheros gave birth to Kaleigh at 12:40 a.m. Kaleigh's father is Victor Lancheros Jr.
Dr. Saira Tandon of Kadlec Clinic Associated Physicians for Women delivered Dominik and Kaleigh.
Kennewick General Hospital's first 2013 baby arrived at 12:54 a.m. Laura Engelhardt of Richland gave birth to a baby girl.
At Lourdes Medical Center of Pasco, no babies were delivered Tuesday morning.
Dominik's arrival was a bit of a surprise. Rabe, a stay-at-home mom, said she started having contractions at about 4 p.m. on New Year's Eve, although Dominik wasn't due to come until Jan. 12. By 7 p.m., she and Bridger were at the hospital.
Bridger's daughter Stormi, who will be 2 in May, was there to see her baby brother born. Rabe's son Asher Boehmer, who will be 2 in April, was supposed to visit later Tuesday.
Rabe said Dominik came quite a bit faster than his older brother, with only three minutes of pushing instead of 25, and dilation happening much faster too.
Now, Asher will have a boy in the family to play with, Rabe said. The majority of the family is made up of girls.
"He's a really good baby," said Bridger, a mechanic. He only cried a little bit when he was born, his dad said.
Rabe and Bridger hope to go home with their new son by Thursday.
-- Kristi Pihl: 582-1512; email@example.com