Oh Baby! Newborns for a new year

By Billy Corriher

Al-Asia Stroud will never forget the first day of 2004. Stroud gave birth to Clayton County's first baby of the year at Southern Regional Medical Center at 8:23 a.m. Thursday.

Stroud was only in labor for about 10 minutes, and the baby girl, which the parents had not named yet, was her seventh child with her boyfriend, Roy Hoggro Jr.

"Maybe that's why it only took 10 minutes," Hoggro said. "She knew what she was doing."

Stroud said her other children are excited about having a new baby sister.

"They love it," she said. "They want her to come home right now."

Hoggro said he was also very anxious this morning when Stroud told him she was in labor.

"I had put my pants on backward I was in such a hurry," he said. "After all these children, I was more nervous with this one than any of them."

The parents said all their relatives have an idea of what to name the baby, and they're having trouble narrowing the list down.

"Everybody's got a name for her," Hoggro said. "We've got to put all those together somehow."

After all the excitement, the parents said they are ready to take their baby girl home.

"I'm ready to take her home," Stroud said. "She's so beautiful."

Just down the hall the night before, Michael and Lynn Ball had their first child, Trinity Virginia Madison Ball, the last baby born at Southern Regional in 2003.

The couple just celebrated their first wedding anniversary last Sunday, and their baby girl was born at 11:15 p.m.

"It was a big relief," Lynn Ball said. "I was happy."

Michael Ball said that after the baby was born, they took her outside to see the New Year's fireworks.

His wife was ready to get some sleep after the birth, but Ball said he was too excited about the baby to fall asleep.

"I couldn't sleep to save my life," he said. "I was probably up until 5 (a.m.)."

The young couple n Michael is 20 and Lynn is 22 n said they were very happy to have a baby girl, and they could have more in the future.

"We'll leave that up to the Lord," he said.