It’s a girl! The first baby of the new year arrived at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital on Jan. 2. Everly Rose Neild was born to Katherine Neild-Fox and David Neild at 5:12 a.m. Little Everly Rose weighed in at 7 lbs., 12 oz., measured 21 inches long, and has a full head of dark hair.

Mom Katherine said her due date was Jan. 1, so Everly was technically a day late. Katherine joked she was kind of hoping to have the last baby of 2018, rather than the first of 2019 so she could take the tax write-off. She said by the time Everly came along on Jan. 2 after 30 hours of labor, she was surprised to have had the first baby of the year in Ridgecrest.

“I figured someone else probably slipped in there,” she said with a laugh.

The baby’s middle name is a family name shared by Katherine and her sister, she said.

Katherine and David live in Ridgecrest and are first-time parents. They took the hospital’s seven-week Community Childbirth Classes and highly recommend the experience.

Classes are taught by RRH nurse-educator Lori Ochoa, who is a certified childbirth educator and certified lactation counselor. She also teaches infant CPR. The childbirth course costs $50 for seven sessions and is offered throughout the year.

“We cover a lot of information from premature labor all the way to newborn care and breastfeeding,” Ochoa said.

She said the classes are “almost more for dads.”

Katherine and David seemed to agree.

“We went to every class. It was great for him,” Katherine said.

“I learned a lot,” David said. He recommended the course for all first-time parents.

Katherine said the classes were thorough and covered best practices, but encouraged expectant moms to make their own decisions.

“Everyone was super supportive,” she said. “There’s a lot of empowerment I feel like the course gave us.”

For more information on the childbirth classes, see http://rrhbaby.org/ classes/childbirth-class/