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First babies of 2014 welcome the new year

January 12, 2014

  • FOTO: Bob Chwedyk
    Marisol Verdin, sostiene a su hija, Elizabeth Hofmann, nacida a la 1:18 a.m. el Día de Año Nuevo.
    Marisol Verdin, holds her daughter, Elizabeth Hofmann, born New Year’s Day at Alexian Brothers Medical Center.
  • FOTO: Bob Chwedyk
    Elizabeth Ariel Hofmann nació a la 1:18 a.m. el miércoles, la primera bebé nacida en el 2014 en el noroeste suburbano del Condado de Cook.
    Elizabeth Ariel Hofmann was born at 1:18 a.m. Wednesday, the first baby born in 2014 in Northwest suburban Cook County.
  • FOTO: Northshore University HealthSystem
    Highland Park Hospital
    Laura Abundes de Waukegan con su hijo, Lázaro Matías Abundes, el segundo bebé nacido en el Condado de Lake en el 2014.
    Laura Abundes of Waukegan with son, Lazaro Matias Abundes, the second baby born in Lake County in 2014.

The first babies of the New Year didn’t waste any time making their arrivals.

Elizabeth Ariel Hofmann checked into the world at 1:18 a.m. Wednesday at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village as the first baby born in 2014 in Northwest suburban Cook County.

Marisol Verdin said she had been having contractions for about a week, but knew early Tuesday it was time.

“I woke up at 6 in the morning, getting ready for work and she said, ‘I think we need to go to the hospital,’” said her partner, James Hofmann.

It is the first child together for the Glendale Heights couple, though Verdin has a 5-year-old son at home and Hofmann has an adult daughter.

Elizabeth, who weighs 8 pounds, 1 ounce, is named for Verdin’s sister.

“I consider her my best friend. We’re very close. I always liked the name,” she said.

Verdin said she had been apprehensive because of difficulty with her first pregnancy, but was calmed and supported by hospital staff.

“Everything has turned out amazing. Everybody is doing well. We’re all happy and grateful.”

Erin and Jason Curtin of Crystal Lake welcomed a little girl, Maci Joyce, at 12:31 a.m. at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington to record the first birth in Lake County in 2014. Maci arrived just two minutes ahead of Lazaro Matias, born at 12:33 a.m. at Northshore University HealthSystem Highland Park Hospital to Laura and Kane Abundes of Waukegan.

A middle-school history teacher, Laura Abundes said she was shopping Tuesday but didn’t feel well and went to her parents’ house nearby. The contractions were two minutes apart when they arrived at the hospital about 3:30 p.m. The baby wasn’t due for nearly three weeks.

Laura Abundes, who was born at the same hospital, was in for another surprise.

“The nurse that helped deliver me, helped deliver him,” she said.

“The name means ‘the saved one’ and the first two letters of Lazaro and Laura are the same so that’s an important connection,” she added.

She was unaware how close she came to having the first baby in Lake County but will pass along the experience.

“For the next couple of years, we’ll have some amazing New Year’s stories to tell him,” she said.

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