Woodland Heights Medical Center’s first baby of 2021 arrived on New Year’s Day

Woodland Heights Medical Center’s first baby of 2021 arrived on New Year’s Day
Meisland was the first baby to arrive at Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin in the new year. (Source: KTRE Staff)

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - A special delivery happened at Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin on Friday when the first baby born at the hospital in this new year arrived.

“It was exciting,” said mother Leslie Hawkins. “I didn’t think I was going to make it to New Year’s.”

However, that all changed Friday for the San Augustine resident. She said she drove herself to Woodland Heights Medical Center after feeling some contractions, and at 9:29 Friday night, Meisland made her grand appearance.

“She came on her own,” Hawkins said. “I didn’t have to push very hard. I did what ... about two or three pushes, maybe, and she came on.”

At 20 inches long, weighing seven pounds and 14 ounces, Meisland’s arrival was expected by December 29th.

“She kept playing with me like she was going to come, but I was just like, you know, I wasn’t going to rush it or get induced. Whenever she’s ready, she’s ready,” Hawkins said. “And she was ready for the 1st. I said, ‘New Year’s it is.’”

Hawkins has three older children and said things were a little different this time around because of the pandemic with restrictions on hospital guests.

“I thought it was going to be emotional not being able to have family,” Hawkins said. “But it was fine because I was able to call everybody and FaceTime them so that kind of helped.”

Hawkins said Meisland is already very attentive and smiles a lot, even in her sleep.

“She’s gorgeous,” Hawkins said. “She’s eating good. She’s sleeping well. When she’s up, she is very alert. And she’s holding her head up. It’s special even though all of this is going on.”

Hawkins and her baby are expected to be released Saturday.

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