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Slow start to new year at maternity ward in Gwinnett

Staff Photo: John Bohn — Jitesh Patel and his wife Shital Patel, hold their newborn baby Amaya at Eastside Medical Center in Snellville on Tuesday.  Amaya, at 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 20 inches long, is Eastside Medical Center's first born baby of the new year, having been born at 6:08 AM, January 1, 2013. The Patel family resides in Lawrenceville and also has a two-year old son.

Staff Photo: John Bohn — Jitesh Patel and his wife Shital Patel, hold their newborn baby Amaya at Eastside Medical Center in Snellville on Tuesday. Amaya, at 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 20 inches long, is Eastside Medical Center's first born baby of the new year, having been born at 6:08 AM, January 1, 2013. The Patel family resides in Lawrenceville and also has a two-year old son.

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Amaya Patel yawns while being held by her parents, Jitesh and Shital Patel, at Eastside Medical Center in Snellville on Tuesday.

SNELLVILLE — Twas the night before the new year, and all through the ward, not a creature was stirring. The doctors were bored.

There was no rush this year, for Eastside Medical Center’s first baby of 2013, although she did come quickly in the end.

Dr. Jitesh Patel and his wife Shital watched the ball drop at a friend’s house with only an inkling that they could become new parents before breakfast.

By the time Shital awoke at 3 a.m. with contractions, the new year was the last thing on the Lawrenceville couple’s mind.

But baby Amaya’s 6:08 a.m. arrival at Eastside Medical Center made her the first baby born this year at the Snellville hospital. (Twins were born shortly after midnight at Gwinnett Medical Center, but the mother declined to comment for this story.)

“With good luck and the grace of God, it went very, very smoothly,” Jitesh Patel said of the baby’s birth. He had praise for the facility, where he works as a urologist.

“We had an amazing experience,” Shital agreed, even after acknowledging she delayed pushing so her husband could see a patient in the emergency room.

The 6-pound, 9-ounce, 20-inch long Amaya joins big brother Sahil, 2.

Eastside spokeswoman Pattie Page said the hospital’s maternity ward was slow while people were ringing in the new year. There was no flurry of births this Jan. 1.