The Tri-Cities' first baby of the year arrived two weeks early, catching his Pasco parents by surprise.
Julieta Lopez Moreno was shopping at Grigg's Department Store on New Year's Eve when her water broke at 3:40 p.m., she said. She had planned to spend the evening with family.
Instead, soon-to-be dad AntonioTorres Vargas drove her to KennewickGeneral Hospital.
Marco Antonio made his appearance nearly 12 hours later, at 3:31 a.m.
The medical staff told Lopez Moreno that the baby likely would be the last one of 2011 born at the hospital or the first one of 2012.
But Lopez Moreno said that was the last thing on her mind.
"I was kind of busy having him," she said.
Marco weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces and measured 20 inches long. The KGH staff were giving him some extra oxygen for his first 24 hours, but Lopez Moreno hoped to be able to take him home today.
She's ready at home for the new baby, despite his early arrival, she said.
The new parents were kept busy Sunday with visits from family, although Lopez Moreno's 4-year-old daughter had yet to see her new baby brother.
He's the first child for Torres Vargas.
He'll go home with a basket of gifts purchased with money donated by the Kennewick General board members and administrators. Volunteers shopped for and wrapped baby diapers, blankets, onsies, rattles and other toys, gift certificates and more to fill the basket.
They also prepared a basket for the last baby of 2011 born at Kennewick General. That was a baby girl, born at 4:33 p.m. weighing 9 pounds and 10 ounces. She is the daughter of Patricia Sanchez and Angel Iniguez.
Both the last baby of 2011 and the first baby of 2012 at Kennewick General were delivered by Dr. J. Chris Perry.
-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; email@example.com