The first babies in Cook and Lake counties came quickly after 2013 began, marking an early arrival for the parents of one baby girl and a relief after a long labor for another.
Hope Yagmur Labbe, born via C-section at 12:13 a.m. at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, was the first baby born in the Northwest suburbs. Weighing six pounds, 10-ounces, the second child of Fidan and Sean Labbe of Aurora arrived more than a week early.
"She was quite a surprise," said Fidan, adding that her due date was Jan. 9. "She's just gorgeous." Hope joins 14-year-old brother, Brendan.
The couple were at a New Year's Eve gathering of family and friends in Carpentersville when the contractions became more intense about 8 p.m. Monday evening.
"We still didn't expect the baby to come for a few weeks," said Sean. "At 9 o'clock, one of our friends said, 'I'm calling the doctor. This is it.'"
Sean, an instructor at North Central College, and Fidan, a sales executive, had expected the birth to be at St. Alexius, because that's where their longtime doctor is based. But not on New Year's Day.
He said the couple independently thought of the name Hope without discussing it.
"It has special meaning for us," said Fidan.
"What we hope is it will be a great year," said Sean.
The second child in Northwest Cook County was born 10 minutes later at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. Five pound, 12-ounce Jacklyn Herrara was born at 12:23 a.m. to Aileen Herrera and Eduardo Jimenez of Arlington Heights, joining two sisters.
In Lake County, the new year began as a relief for Aindrila Gupta, who ended about 29 hours of labor to deliver a baby girl at 12:39 a.m. at NorthShore Highland Park Hospital.
"She just didn't want to come out normally, so we had to push her out," Gupta said of Naija Niyogi, who weighed six pounds, five ounces and was delivered by C-section. Naija is the first child for Gupta and her husband, Shiladitya Niyogi of Highland Park.
"Naija actually means daughter of wisdom in the Sanskrit language," she added. "We were just going through names and we thought this was the right name for our daughter."
The couple arrived at the hospital about 7 p.m. Sunday. They had been planning for a Christmas Day birth, "but she wanted to be the first" of 2013, joked Gupta, a financial consultant. The couple lives in Highland Park.
"She's very happy," said Shiladitya, a program manager for an oil company. "She's taking a liking to everything that's around. She's not complaining."