PITTSFIELD -- Her daughter was due to be born on Tuesday, so when Kelsey Lehtinen of Peru began having contractions early on New Year's Eve, she didn't hesitate in heading to Berkshire Medical Center.
About five hours later, Lehtinen's daughter, Kaylyn Rose Cormier, came into the world at 1:11 a.m. on New Year's Day. Not only was Kaylyn born on time, the 9-pound, 7-ounce, 21-inch infant has the distinction of being the first baby born in the Berkshires in 2013, according to information from the county's three hospitals.
"It's exciting," said Lehtinen, who is 22. "This is my first child, and that's exciting in itself."
The first births of the year at North Adams Regional Hospital and Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington occurred almost simultaneously, at 5:55 a.m. and 5:57 a.m., respectively, according to hospital officials.
Lehtinen and Kaylyn's 21-year-old father, Travis Cormier, also of Peru, have been engaged for almost two years. They met when Cormier, who is a carpenter, stopped at the Hinsdale Trading Co., where Lehtinen works in the deli.
"It was love at first sight," he said.
A first-time father, Cormier spent the final hours waiting for his daughter to arrive, "trying to stay calm."
"I did that for the most part," Cormier said. "I think it's a miracle that she's finally here.
"We had a feeling that she could be the first baby of the year," he said. "There was a slim chance. We kind of hoped for it."
Karen Lehtinen, Kelsey's mother, described her granddaughter's birth as "a beautiful moment" that was made easier by her daughter's demeanor.
"She was in complete control at all times," Karen said. "Most new mothers are screaming. It was a very calm birth."
Kaylyn spent her first afternoon resting quietly in a hospital room watched by her parents and grandparents.
"She's a lot bigger than I thought she'd be," Kelsey said. "But she's adorable."
At North Adams Regional Hospital, the new year's first baby was a 7-pound, 7-ounce boy named Harley LeSage, who is 191 2 inches. His parents are Molly Downing and Steve LeSage of Adams.
The first baby at Fairvew was a boy born to Samantha Halley and John Suters of New Marlborough. The boy, whose name was not available, measured 211 2 inches, and weighed 8 pounds, 2.3 ounces.
To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
On Twitter: @tonydobrow