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Parents welcome the first babies of 2009

By Valerie Baldowski

vbaldowski@henyherald.com

Instead of going to a New Year's Eve party, two Southern Crescent women marked the beginning of 2009 in the hospital.

Leah Martin, of McDonough, and Brittain Roland, of Fayetteville, gave birth to the first two babies born in Henry and Clayton counties this year.

Adalyn Grace Collins was born at 5:24 a.m., Jan 1, to Martin, at Henry Medical Center.

The baby weighed four pounds, nine ounces and was 17 inches long. This is Martin's first child. A student at Clayton State College, she says she will continue with classes online, because, now, she has a new baby. "I've got lots and lots of help and baby-sitters."

Casey Collins, Adalyn's father, says becoming a father gives him a new perspective. "It's completely different. You look at everything different."

Collins says when he learned his new baby daughter's arrival was imminent, he initially was unsure of what to expect when he accompanied the mother-to-be into the delivery room. "I was nervous, but after a couple of minutes, she started coming down, and I enjoyed watching it." says Collins. "It was life-changing."

Martin's mother, Robin Martin, says she first learned that the big day was just around the corner on Dec. 31. "I went to the doctor's appointment with [Leah], and Casey came out and said she was three centimeters dilated, and they said the baby could be here in 48 hours. They had to pick my jaw up off the floor. I was quite surprised."

The newborn shares the same birthday as her grandmother. "That was the best birthday present ever," adds Robin Martin.

Grandfather, Steve Martin, is happy to welcome the new addition to the family. The new mother has a medical condition known as Phenyketonuria, he says, which required her to maintain a strict diet while pregnant, to keep the baby healthy.

"We're very, very proud of Adalyn and Leah," says the grandfather. "We're blessed that the good Lord has brought a healthy Adalyn into the world ... She is fine, it's the greatest gift."

In addition to Martin and Collins, another set of parents are also welcoming their newborn.

Makhi Roland was born at Southern Regional Medical Center at 4:47 a.m., Jan. 1, to Brittan and John Roland . He weighed six pounds, 13 ounces, and was 13 inches long.

Brittan says she did not know exactly when her new son would make an entrance into the world. "He wasn't due until the 12th," she says.

At about 10 p.m., the night before, she says, she stood up after finishing New Year's Eve dinner with her husband, John. When she stood, her water broke, and they realized they needed to immediately leave for the hospital.

John says when his wife went into labor on New Year's Eve, he was surprised because the baby was not expected until later. John says he had been told to be prepared in advance, so when her water broke, they packed her suitcase, woke their two sleeping children, and took them to a friend's house.

"When we came to the hospital, I thought they were going to send me home, but they decided to keep me there," says Mrs. Roland. The delivery went smoothly, and the baby was born in about an hour. "I kept saying," she says, "'I can't believe it's done.'"

Because it was so late (or early) when Makhi was born, there were very few others in the delivery room. "When we came to the hospital, there was nobody there," says Brittan. The couple was unaware that their baby was the first of 2009, until later.

"I was totally exhausted," adds the new mother.

She says her husband is happy to have another son. "He's totally excited. He hasn't put the baby down yet."

Since Makhi's birth, John says he has been helping at feeding- and diaper-changing times, and admits they will not get much sleep for a while.