COUNTYWIDE : County's First Baby of the New Year Arrives

Ashley Elizabeth Hussey, a pint-sized, dark-haired girl named after a soap opera character, became the first baby of the new year born in Ventura County.

Ashley, the daughter of Patricia Rogers and John Hussey of Ventura, was born about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday after doctors performed a Cesarean section at Ventura County Medical Center.

"She's so tiny," said Rogers, holding the 5-pound, 9-ounce infant. "She's so cute."

The baby, named after a character on Rogers' favorite soap opera--"The Young and the Restless"--was born about a month premature. Rogers had been hospitalized several times during her pregnancy with complications, she said.

"It's wasn't an easy pregnancy," said Rogers, 27. "I started having problems from the beginning."

On Thanksgiving, doctors thought Rogers was going into labor, but it turned out to be a false alarm.

The mother quipped that the child wanted to arrive in time for the holidays.

She said Ashley is the perfect present for the new year, although the baby will remain in the hospital until she gets stronger.

Added Hussey, 28: "This is probably one of the best things that has happened to me."

The fact that the child was the first baby born this year in the county "just adds the extra spice," Hussey said.

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