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New Year's Baby: Infant born just after midnight

by Greg Bischof | January 2, 2017 at 4:43 a.m. | Updated January 2, 2017 at 4:43 a.m.
Newborn Jina Patel sleeps in the arms of her mother, Amisha Patel, early Sunday at CHRISTUS St. Michael. She is the first baby born in Texarkana this year. Amisha and her husband, Sameer, live in Hope, Ark. Jina is their second child.

Amisha and Sameer Patel had something much more to celebrate early Sunday morning besides the new year.

The couple brought their second daughter, Jina Patel, into the world at 12:25 a.m. Sunday at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System. This makes Jina the first baby born in the Twin-Cities region in 2017.

Weighing exactly 7 pounds, little Jina will soon be giving her 2-year-old sister Meera company once she and her parents return home later this week to Hope, Ark.

The Patels were in Hope Friday evening when Amisha Patel started getting signs that her second daughter might be on the way.

"We run a hotel in Hope, and I was at work when I got the call from Amisha to take her to Texarkana," Sameer Patel said. "We got to Texarkana about 8 p.m., when we were told that things were stable and we could be released for the evening and come back Saturday."

Sameer Patel made arrangements Friday evening to stay in Texarkana through Saturday if need be.

And late Saturday morning, the Patels went back to St. Michael, where they stayed until Jina was born.

"Jina was born exactly six minutes before her 38-year-old uncle, Jatin Patel was born on Jan. 1, 1979," Amisha Patel said. "Jatin was hoping his new niece would be born on his 38th birthday, and he got his wish. This made him very happy."

As for Amisha Patel, she regarded the birth of her second daughter on New Year's Day as a sign of good luck.

"Jina will be my good luck charm," her mom said.

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