Home News Local news Family Blessed with First V.I. Baby of New Year

Family Blessed with First V.I. Baby of New Year


Jan. 1, 2008 — The first baby of the New Year born in the Virgin Islands made his appearance in the early morning hours of Jan. 1 at the Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
Judah Joseph Hodge was born at 5:25 a.m., tipping the scales at a respectable 7 pounds 10.7 ounces. "He is a blessing and a good way to start the New Year," said Judah's mother, Melanie Browne, 33.
Judah was not in a hurry to come into the world. Browne said her contractions began Saturday and she went to the hospital, but the staff told her she was not ready and sent her home. She came back Monday night at 10:30 p.m., and the baby was born seven hours later.
"When I came in, the staff told me not to have the baby until five minutes past 12 so it could be the first baby," she said.
Holding the quiet Judah in her arms, Browne said she found out she was having a boy in her seventh month of pregnancy. It gave her some time to consider what it would mean to have a boy in the family.
"I was kind of nervous," Browne said. "I never had a boy. I just want him to be the best at whatever he wants to do," said the happy mother.
Baby Judah's sisters, nine-year-old Ariayn and six-year-old Azaleah, are very excited to have a baby brother, Browne said. Judah also has stepsister Joshirah, seven, and stepbrother Isaiah, four, to round out his family.
The newborn was named by his father, Joseph Hodge, and has his father's first name as his middle name, Browne said.
The hospital staff was also excited to help bring in the first baby of the New Year. Vivian Furet, patient advocate, and nursing assistant Matilda Christopher were all smiles, acting almost like proud parents themselves.
Furet said after the mother has a time to rest, baby supplies will be presented to her and her new son. "Donations are still coming in from the community," said Furet.
According to hospital records, 894 babies were born on St. Croix in 2007.

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