GREENFIELD — She might have come early, but in the scheme of things, she came just in the nick of time.
Alaina Jesse Smith arrived at 8:17 a.m. Sunday at Hancock Regional Hospital as the county’s first baby of 2014 just as the week’s wintery wave was beginning and virtually everyone in the county was hunkering down for the next 36 hours.
Nicole Smith, 26, received her first signal that this would not be a drill at 9 a.m. Saturday morning. She and her husband, Tyler, hastily made the trek to the hospital, where labor started in earnest an hour later.
“I was in labor until Sunday morning, when they took her by C-section,” she said.
All things went well, however, and all 20½ inches of Alaina emerged at 8 pounds, 14 ounces, a fairly strapping tale of the tape given she was born three weeks premature.
The fact that she was here at all was more than a little jarring for the Shirley couple, who previously had been told they couldn’t have children.
“I thought I had the flu when I first started,” she said. “I went to Community Hospital North, and they said I was eight weeks pregnant. It was a shocker; I was very surprised.”
“It’s awesome; she’s definitely a gift,” said 23-year-old Tyler, who works as a stocker at the CVS Caremark Distribution Center in Indianapolis and serves on the Shirley Volunteer Fire Department.
Tuesday afternoon, all three Smiths were preparing to head home, where Alaina’s grandparents were still waiting to see their new granddaughter.
The weather conspired with balky trucks to keep the grandparents homebound in eastern Hancock County, but the Smiths said parents on both sides of the family were eagerly awaiting Alaina’s arrival home.
“They’re very excited,” Nicole said.
Given the deteriorating weather conditions Sunday and Monday’s travel warnings, the Smiths said they were fortunate with Alaina’s timing.
“I don’t think (Nicole) would have been able to handle it if we hadn’t been able to get here,” Tyler said.
Nicole agreed and was relieved by her daughter’s sense of timing and early arrival.
“She knew,” Nicole said.