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Reagan Sophia relaxes as her parents, Steve and Lorena Lively of Grand Lake, celebrate the New Year’s surprise of her birth. Reagan was born 16 days early.  (Rick Hickman / American Press)<br>

Reagan Sophia relaxes as her parents, Steve and Lorena Lively of Grand Lake, celebrate the New Year’s surprise of her birth. Reagan was born 16 days early. (Rick Hickman / American Press)

Grand Lake couple welcome first baby of New Year

Last Modified: Tuesday, January 01, 2013 8:53 PM

Special to the American Press

Lorena Lively of Grand Lake gave birth to the first baby born in the Lake Charles area at 9:21 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, at Women & Children’s Hospital.

Reagan Sophia weighed in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces, and measured 19.5 inches long.

“We had no idea that I would deliver on New Year’s Day,” Lively said. “Reagan wasn’t expected to be born until closer to my due date of Jan. 17.”

The couple headed to the hospital at about 6 a.m. after Lively started feeling strong contractions. Once she’d settled into her room, Lively told her husband, Steve, to go to the store to buy a new shirt in preparation for photos and visitors after she delivered the child.

“While away, I received a call from an extended family member who said, ‘You need to hurry back because I don’t think Reagan is going to wait on you,’ ” Steve said.

“When I walked back into Lorena’s room, there was my new baby girl, already lying in the baby warmer. Although I missed most of the action, I am just so blessed that Lorena and Reagan are both doing well and that we made it to the hospital in time.

“I’ve been right there for the births of my other five children, but this was truly a New Year’s Day surprise.”

Steve said his daughter is named after Ronald Reagan, who was president of the United States when Lorena’s parents became naturalized U.S. citizens.

“They were born in Mexico,” he said. “And if they wouldn’t have come to this country, I wouldn’t have met my beautiful wife or be blessed with our children.”

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