By Julianna Parker
Before 2009 started, Joshua Goeders picked his new year's resolution: to lose weight.
But something happened early Thursday that made him change his resolution.
"Now I've got to change it ... to be the best parent I can," Goeders said.
His first child was born at 12:08 a.m. Thursday, marking a big change for Goeders as well as earning the distinction of being the first baby born in 2009 in Cleveland County.
Emily Anne Goeders, daughter of Joshua and Stephanie Goeders of Moore, was 7 pounds 5 ounces and 20 inches long at Moore Medical Center.
Stephanie, an Air Force training manager at Tinker Air Force Base whose middle name is Anne also, said she hadn't expected her baby to be the first born in the county in the new year. She wasn't due until Jan. 16. Dec. 31, the Goeders went to their regular doctor visit with Dr. Kimberly Fletcher.
"Dr. Fletcher told us, 'You're in labor. Get to the hospital right now,'" Joshua Goeders said.
Still, she didn't expect to have the first baby born in 2009.
"It was pretty close," she said. "They thought it would be Dec. 31 but it turned out to be eight minutes after."
After Emily was born, her mother said holding her baby for the first time was surreal. "It didn't really seem real, like she wasn't mine," she said. She said after she'd slept the realization that Emily was hers set in.
Her husband said the labor process was "terrifying, terrifying."
"I thank God I'm not a woman," he said. He also said when he thinks about the future with his new little girl, he's "terrified."
"But it'll be exciting, a long journey ahead of us," he said. He choked up as he held his daughter's hand and called her a miracle.
Joshua and Stephanie have been married two years, and he said he was glad to ring in the new year with the start of a new family.
"I mean, we were married, but it's not really complete until you bring in that child," he said. "... It's a very special time for us."
The second baby born in 2009 was Dillon Wayne Smith, born at 12:24 a.m. at Norman Regional Hospital. He weighed 6 pounds 3 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long.
He is the son of Sandra Sharp and Michael Wayne Smith of Blanchard.
Although Dillon was due Jan. 1, Sharp said she didn't expect him to be the first baby born at NRH in 2009.
"I actually thought he was gonna be here a lot sooner than he was," she said. Sharp, who has a 2-year-old as well, was on her feet most of her pregnancy working at the Goldsby Gaming Center. Sharp started having contractions Dec. 30 and checked into the hospital the afternoon of Dec. 31.
Dillon's paternal grandmother, Kim Kates of Norman, was happy to have another grandchild.
"I think he's neat," she said as she held him at the hospital. "Can't get no better New Year's present than this, can you?"
Sharp said she hopes 2009 will be "better than last year."
"Maybe he'll bring us some good luck this year," Kates said.
In Moore, the Goeders family also saw hope for the new year in their new baby. The year has already started out on a great foot.
"I think it's pretty good, like it's gonna be a good year," said Stephanie Goeders. Her husband agreed that 2009 had a lot of promise.
"It's a new beginning," he said. "I mean, it's a chance for us to move on and grow as a family. It's maybe the greatest feeling I've ever felt in my life."