It took almost three weeks into 2022, but South Peninsula Hospital’s first New Year’s baby arrived on Jan. 17. A healthy 9 pounds, 1 ounce and 21 inches long, Betty Lynn Fraley was born to Cassy Quinlan and Jacob Fraley. Betty Lynn joins older sisters Lucy, 8, and Polly, 10, also January babies.
“It’s kind of funny we got one that’s a New Year’s baby,” Quinlan said in a phone interview on Tuesday from the hospital birthing center. “I was so surprised when she (a nurse) told me that.”
Delivered by Caesarean section, Quinlan said the due date was planned to be Jan. 21. Obstetrician Dr. Katie Ostrom picked the date of Jan. 17.
“She was definitely ready,” Quinlan said of her daughter. “… She’s doing great, other than being kind of big. Everybody’s healthy and good.”
Quinlan has spent the past few days recovering at the hospital and said she hoped to be home by Wednesday.
South Peninsula Hospital Family Birthing Center offers midwifery or physician supported births in a home-like environment, with a deep whirlpool tub and a private room for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum during their stay, according to a press release from the hospital. About 150 births on average take place at the hospital’s birthing center each year.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, only Fraley has been able to see the newborn.
“He’s very excited,” Quinlan said of Fraley. “We’re excited to get home and let the big sisters see her (Betty Lynn). I think that’s the hardest part of being at the hospital for two days. We don’t let grandpa and grandma and big sisters meet her.”
The paternal grandparents are Shelly and Terry Fraley of Homer. The maternal grandmother is Alysia Quinlan of Springfield, Oregon. Paternal great-grandparents are Lynn and Ross Burgoyne of Homer and maternal great-grandparents are Jack and Fran Montgomery of Homer. Betty Lynn’s middle name is after her great-grandmother Lynn.
Quinlan said a boy would have been fun, but, “We know what to do with girls already,” she said. “I don’t think it was too much of a shock.”
Besides, these are Alaska girls.
“Dad’s out there making sure they’re hunting and fishing,” Quinlan said. “They get to have tea parties with grandma and then go out to fish on the river with dad.”
She said older sisters Lucy and Polly are excited to see their new little sister.
“I think they’re ready to meet her and see what it’s all about,” Quinlan said. “They’re going to be a big help.”
Along with bragging rights, the first baby of the year and family receive gifts donated by local businesses, nonprofits and individuals.
“The community was so generous. It’s so fun,” Quinlan said. “There was a lot of stuff.”
Gifts donated to the family include:
• Sprout: gift bag with swaddles, diapers, butt paste, water wipes, teether set, wrist rattles, books, nursing pads, DVDs, Sprout embroidered fleece hat from NOMAR, swaddle wraps and health educational materials
• Homer Bookstore: $25 gift card
• Ulmer’s Drug and Hardware: $100 gift card•
Old Inlet Books: $75 gift card
• Woda Botanicals: bee’s wax wraps, calendula zinc oxide diaper cream
• Homer’s Jeans: fleece Carhartt onesie and 3-pack of wool socks
• North Wind Home Collection: baby hamper, baby blanket, baby new born outfit, baby blanket growth chart, pink slippers for mom, ball, stackable paper boxes toy, fabric baby supply carrier
• Yvonne Dunson: hand-knitted baby blanket