Fresh faces greet new year

Leslie Villafuerte’s newborn, Jessie Junior, was the first baby born in the new year at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.

Jessie was born at around 4:30 a.m., weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 20 inches long.

Villafuerte and Jessie’s father, Juan Ramon Gutierrez, live in North Hills.

The baby’s original arrival date was scheduled for Jan. 4, so he was a bit of a surprise, but that didn’t bother Villafuerte.

“I’m very excited,” she said.

While her newborn’s name has “Junior” in it, he’s not named after any specific person in Villafuerte’s life.

“I just wanted him to have his own name,” she said.

Villafuerte has two other children, a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old.

Over in Glendale, the city’s three hospitals each welcomed babies on New Year’s Day.

Sophia Reyes experienced firsthand the saying that every time God closes a door, he opens a window with the birth of her son.

“It's a blessing,” she said, adding that her aunt had passed away just the day before.

Reyes' son, Solomon Reign Simmons, was born at 6:14 a.m. at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces and he was 20 1/2 inches long.

Reyes, of Adelato, said her son's original due date was Jan. 6. However, while she was visiting family in Glendale on New Year's Eve, she started experiencing pains.

She decided to go to Glendale Adventist just to check out how she was doing because her obstetrician, Dr. John Artenos, works there.

And then, there was a special delivery, which was Reyes' second child. She also has a 6-year-old daughter.

Reyes and Solomon's father, Brandon Simmons, have been together for 3 1/2 years.

Looking to the future, Reyes said she's still considering whether she'll add to her brood.

“All I'm saying is, I'm gonna think about it,” she said.

Over at Glendale Memorial Hospital, Mika Urtasun gave birth to her daughter, Nova Monroe, at 10:44 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Weighing 8 pounds and 1 ounce, her newborn measured 19 inches.

Urtasun used to work at Glendale Memorial, working with children who had behavioral problems, she said.

After living in Glendale for a short time, she now lives in Covina and works with special needs children at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in Culver City.

“I always liked working with special needs children and I just ended up working with kids with behavioral (problems) and disabilities,” she said. “It just kind of went hand in hand.”

Nova's original due date was Dec. 28, so she arrived a little later than expected. When Urtasun started going into labor around 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 31, she headed straight to Glendale Memorial where her obstetrician, Dr. Ryan Lee, works.

Nova is her first child. Urtasun chose her daughter’s names for two reasons — her first name for the Chevy Nova and her second name after Marilyn Monroe.

“I come from a Chevy family,” Urtasun said.

Kamila Elena Aispuro made her entrance a lot earlier than expected at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.

Her mother, Raquel Trujillo, was scheduled to have a C-section on Jan. 14, so her birth on Jan. 1 took everyone by surprise, including her father, Jesus Aispuro, who missed the delivery.

Jesus Aispuro explained that the Jan. 14 date for the C-section was considered the earliest date in terms of the baby’s development, so it never entered his mind that his daughter’s arrival was eminent.

“Before (Jan. 14), it didn’t even occur to us, to be honest,” he said.

He had to make a short out-of-town business trip last Tuesday, and his cell phone battery died overnight. When he charged the phone around 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day, he saw several texts and missed phone calls. His wife was in labor.

Already on his way back to their home in Downey, he called the hospital and reached the delivery room.

At first, they weren’t sure if his daughter had arrived, but then he got the good news. She was born at 9:09 a.m., weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces and she was 21 inches long.

“Whatever could go wrong when it comes to this, went wrong,” Jesus Aispuro said.

The couple also has a 2-year-old daughter.


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