Area's first baby of 2010 arrives three weeks early

Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Jennifer Marshall holds her son, Avery, at University Hospital. With a due date of Jan. 22, the boy surprised his parents at 12:46 a.m. Friday. He weighed 5 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 inches long.

Avery James Palmer will have something extra to celebrate each New Year's Day.

The 5-pound, 8-ounce boy measuring 19 inches long was the first Augusta-area child born in the new decade.

He came into the world earlier than expected; his due date was Jan. 22.

Avery was born at University Hospital to Jim Palmer and Jennifer Marshall, of North Augusta. The couple also have a daughter, Haley Ann, who is 17.

"I didn't have a clue," Ms. Marshall said about the possibility of her son being born on New Year's Day. "I had no idea until they started telling me to push."

Because she began labor well before midnight, they figured Avery was going to be a New Year's Eve baby.

"That's what everyone started saying, and that's what we thought," Mr. Palmer said.

However, he held off making his entrance until 12:46 a.m. Friday.

Haley Ann, gazing at her little brother, said she enjoyed preparing for his arrival and had the most fun shopping for baby clothes.

"I can't wait for him to get bigger so I can teach him some things and do different stuff with him, you know, be a big sister," she said.

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.