Sonoma County’s first baby of the year arrives in a hurry

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While celebrants were ringing in the New Year at midnight Monday, Kristen Elliff’s water broke in the middle of a quiet night at her Windsor home, signaling the imminent arrival of her third child.

Six hours later, the 8-pound, 15-ounce boy became the first baby of 2019 in Sonoma County, born at Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital a little over an hour before sunrise.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kristen, 32, cradled the sleeping boy — wrapped in a blanket and wearing a blue, pink and white-striped knit cap — while propped up in a bed in the hospital birthing unit.

“I feel a lot better now,” she said. “This one was rough.”

Kristen’s labor lasted just two hours, but the baby came so fast there was no time for the pain-relieving shot she had while delivering her first two boys.

Her husband, Tyler Elliff, 34, said they probably should have headed for the hospital sooner, but they had to wait for her mother, Donna Garcia of Windsor, to come stay with the sleeping boys, Chad, 4, and Brandon, 2.

Kristen admitted that it would have been nice to have a girl “just to have some balance in the house.”

Dixie, their black Labrador, is the couple’s lone female dependent. Girls are scarce on the Elliff side of the family, Tyler said.

“What a good day to have a birthday,” Lorinda Trujillo of Cloverdale said of her fourth grandchild.

Trujillo happily lost a $100 bet that this one would be the first girl and said she would put the money in a savings account for the baby.

Will they try again for a girl?

“Wrong time to ask after this morning,” Kristen said with a smile.

The baby was due on Friday, but the Elliffs never thought theirs would be the first arrival of the year.

They joked about it over dinner at Round Table Pizza on Monday night “but we didn’t think it was possible,” Kristen said.

On Tuesday afternoon the family received a visit from Tyler-Avery Lewis, 22, of Rohnert Park, the 72nd Miss Sonoma County, and Pinkeo Phongsa, 16, also from Rohnert Park, Miss Sonoma County Outstanding Teen, delivering a basket full of toys and baby paraphernalia.

Sutter nurses said they were thrilled to host the year’s first baby for the first time since 2016. Moms deliver 1,700 babies a year at Sutter, but the Elliffs were alone in the birth unit Tuesday.

One unfinished piece of business was the newborn’s name. Tyler said they had “kicked around” several names.

“I like Andrew,” Kristen said.

And so it was. On Tuesday night, the couple named their newest boy Andrew Louis Elliff.

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 707-521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @guykovner.

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