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Articles / 2014

By calendar and clock, Olivia is a No. 1 baby Nurse delivers just as she had dreamed

Ventura County Star
By Lisa McKinnon


Asleep in her mother's arms at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, Olivia Maria Vera was the first baby born in 2014 at a Ventura County hospital. She arrived just after the stroke of midnight. Mother Stacy Vera and father Lupe Vera said she weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces.

Ultrasounds put the due date for Stacy Vera"s baby at Jan. 10.

Her subconscious said otherwise.

"We didn"t know the sex of the baby, so I was expecting dreams about it being a boy or girl. Instead, I had a dream about a week ago that I delivered on New Year"s Eve," said Stacy, 35.

The dream came true.

Vera, a nurse at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, and husband Lupe Vera, 36, a mechanic, welcomed daughter Olivia Maria Vera as the clock ticked between midnight and 12:01 on New Year"s Eve, making her the first baby of the year to be born in a Ventura County hospital.

Olivia made her debut with her father, a midwife and several of her mother"s co-workers in the delivery room.

She weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and measured 20 inches at birth. She has the same full head of hair that big sisters Grace, 3, and Anna, 2, had when they were born, Lupe Vera said.

"All my girls are gorgeous," he said. "I just hope Olivia is OK with having her birthday on a holiday." Added Stacy, "She"ll always have a party on her birthday." And a story to tell.

As the parents of two young children, the Veras were having a quiet New Year"s Eve at their Ventura home until about 9 p.m. That"s when "Stacy looked at me and said, "We need to find someone to watch the kids," " Lupe said.

Stacy"s brother and his girlfriend sprang into action, leaving a New Year"s Eve party to lend a hand. Things moved quickly after the Veras arrived at Community Memorial about 10 p.m.

"I knew it was serious when we got to check-in and she told me to grab a wheelchair," Lupe said.

The couple went into the delivery room with names for either a boy or a girl. Lupe gave Stacy the news simply by using the appropriate name as soon as he saw the baby.

"I said, 'It"s Olivia!' " he said.

The Veras, who went to the prom together when both were attending Buena High School in the mid-1990s and are nearing their ninth wedding anniversary, didn"t realize Olivia was a potential first baby of the year until Stacy"s fellow nurses mentioned the timing.

"I didn"t really have my eyes on the clock at the time," Stacy said with a laugh.

Community Memorial presented the family with a celebratory basket filled with baby blankets, diapers and gift certificates.

The hospital also welcomed two more babies between 1 and 3 a.m. on New Year"s Day, Stacy said.

Other New Year"s Day births were reported at 3:04 a.m. at St. John"s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard; 6:29 a.m. at Simi Valley Hospital; 7:44 a.m. at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks; and just after 8 a.m. at Ventura County Medical Center.

After a busy night, Olivia spent New Year"s Day as many people did: conked out.

Freshly bathed and dressed in a receiving blanket printed with owls and giraffes, she slept through having her photo taken and the comings and goings of visitors. Everyone commented on her long fingers, which she curled and uncurled in her sleep into loose, tiny fists.