Five-year-old Pacei Reynolds sits with his mother Marie Finnegan and Cortland Wood as they hold their new baby girl who was born at 10:11 a.m. on New Year
Five-year-old Pacei Reynolds sits with his mother Marie Finnegan and Cortland Wood as they hold their new baby girl who was born at 10:11 a.m. on New Year s Day making her the first baby of 2013 in the area. (Zachary P. Stephens/Brattleboro Reformer)
Wednesday January 2, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Marie Finnegan's little girl doesn't have a name just yet.

But she already has an honorary title: Windham County's first baby of 2013. Finnegan, a Wilmington resident, gave birth at 10:11 a.m. Tuesday at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.

"I'm just glad she's here and glad she's healthy," Finnegan said a few hours later, cradling her 6-pound, 1-ounce daughter while her 5-year-old son, Pacei Reynolds, ran happily around the hospital room.

Finnegan said she had a difficult pregnancy. But the baby arrived relatively quickly: She awoke around 4 a.m. with contractions, and her daughter was born about six hours later.

The proud father, Cortland Wood, noted that there had been a few false alarms previously. That included a trip to the hospital in the early morning hours Monday.

"There has not been much sleep," he said.

On Tuesday morning, though, he had a feeling that the moment finally had arrived.

"She woke me up just after 6 and said, ‘It's time to go,'" Wood said. "When she was really in pain on the drive over, I thought, ‘This is it.'"

The couple said they saw some significance in having a baby on 1-1-13, given that Finnegan's birthday is 11-13.

Regardless of the date on the calendar, though, Wood was overcome with emotion after becoming a father for the first time.

"The emotions have just been ridiculous," he said. "I must have cried a dozen times today.


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Finnegan said she will work to ensure that her son -- who announced that he was looking forward to playing video games with his new sibling -- adjusts relatively easily to having a sister.

"My biggest concern is just balancing everything -- making sure he doesn't feel left out of anything," she said.

Finnegan said hospital staff had been "amazing" during the birth. But she also was looking forward to going home as soon as possible.

Finnegan expects to return to her studies later this month at Antioch University's graduate school in Keene, N.H. Her more immediate task, though, will be to come up with just the right name for her daughter.

"I'm just trying to get a feel for her and for her face," Finnegan said. "I don't want to stick her with something that doesn't fit her."

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.