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Early delivery for Aurora’s first baby of new year

Bryce Lewis Aurorholds his new daughter Tirraj for first time Tuesday January 1 2012 neonatal intensive care unit Rush-Copley Medical

Bryce Lewis of Aurora holds his new daughter, Tirraj, for the first time on Tuesday, January 1, 2012, in the neonatal intensive care unit at Rush-Copley Medical Center. Tiraj, who was not expected to arrive until late February, was the first baby born in 2013 in the Fox Valley area. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media

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Other first babies

Edward Hospital in Naperville: Sahiti Ballari (4:59 a.m.) and Samiksha Ballari (5:04 a.m.), twin girls, born to Pranitha and Naveen Ballari of Aurora, Sahiti is 4 pounds, 13 ounces and 18 inches; Samiksha is 5 pounds 1 ounce, 18 inches.

Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora: Cristian Munoz; boy; 9:30 a.m.; born to Rosario Barragan and Alejandro Munoz of Aurora; 7 pounds, 9 ounces; 20 inches.

Valley West Hospital in Sandwich: Armani Desean Smith; 6:20 a.m.; boy; born to Laura Neverz and Antonio Smith of Plano; 6 pounds, 10 ounces; 19 inches.

Updated: February 3, 2013 6:13AM

AURORA — So, you’re still a little tired after a long New Year’s Day? Get over it.

You stayed up late? Quit your whining.

For a truly exhausting New Year’s Day celebration, try delivering your sixth child in an emergency C-section in the middle of the night. It’s not recommended for everyone, but for Lusiana Lewis, it had a happy ending. Tirraj Lewis, a baby girl, arrived at 3:53 a.m. Tuesday — the first local baby born in 2013.

“She was ready to go,” Lusiana said from her hospital bed at Rush-Copley Medical Center.

Consider that it wasn’t even a week ago that Lusiana and Bryce Lewis were at their regular doctor’s appointment for the baby, which was due Feb. 27. Everything looked fine and the doctors said there was no reason to believe she would arrive early. All five of the couple’s other children (four boys, one girl) had arrived late. They were prepared for a March birth.

But on Saturday, Lusiana’s water broke and she was put on hospital bed rest. Doctors still thought she had plenty of time. In fact, Lusiana and Bryce had spent an uneventful midnight together in the hospital. A few minutes later, Bryce headed home to check on the kids and get some sleep.

What happened next was a blur. Lusiana was whisked away for emergency surgery, after the baby’s heart beat kept speeding up and slowing down. Someone said breathe deep and she was out. Bryce, a 34-year-old mechanic, was asleep in his Aurora home and the hospital couldn’t reach him. Police eventually had to be dispatched.

Around 4:30 a.m., Bryce’s son answered the door and reported to his father: The cable guy is here. Bryce was understandably confused by this announcement, but he soon learned that it was not Comcast, but a uniformed officer with a message: Nurse Barbara said come to the hospital as soon as possible. By the time Bryce arrived, Tirraj was already born. (The baby is named after Bryce’s uncle, Jarritt, who died about six months ago. They reversed his name and dropped a ‘T’ to form a unique tribute.)

On Tuesday afternoon, Luisiana — who grew up on the Tonga Islands — was still resting, clearly uncomfortable from her surgery.

“Where I come from, you have big families. So I was thinking 10. But this is enough,” she said, laughing, then wincing.

She had only been able to see her new daughter for a few seconds, as she was wheeled down from surgery.

“I wanted to just grab her but all you can do was this,” she said, pretending to tap the baby’s hand.

At just 4 pounds, 1 ounce, Tirraj will likely be in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for a while. But when she graduates from high school in 2029, this stressful time will seem like a blip. By then it will probably just be a funny story about how the cable guy stopped by to tell her father that she was the first Aurora baby of 2013.

“She apparently wants to be special,” Lusiana said.

And, of course, she already is.

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