MERCED — The doctors told 25-year-old Cristianna Jones of Merced to expect her baby to arrive on Christmas Day.
But as Jones lay inside her hospital room Tuesday, she held in her arms Merced's first baby to be born in 2013 -- a healthy boy named Cyprian Gabriel Hiro Jones.
"We didn't expect a 2013 baby, but we're really happy to have a healthy birth," Cristianna Jones said on New Year's Day.
Weighing 8 pounds, 12 ounces and 21 inches long, the baby was born at 12:22 a.m. Tuesday at Mercy Medical Center.
As if that excitement wasn't enough, baby Cyprian met his big brother, Ignatius, for the first time on Tuesday.
The 20-month-old looked at his new brother a few times, then cuddled up next to his mom. Proud father Joe Jones, 26, stood beside his wife's hospital bed Tuesday.
Tuesday would have been Cyprian's baptism if he had been born on Christmas as expected.
"There will always be a party on his birthday," Cristianna Jones said of her New Year's Day baby. "It is a sign of hope -- the new year, a new birth, a new life -- to celebrate that is substantial."
The hospital staff induced labor Monday morning, she said. The birth wasn't easy at first, as the baby was positioned face-up, potentially causing a more complicated and painful birth.
But during the last hour, the baby turned around.
"The hospital did a great job with pain management and meeting all our needs," Cristianna Jones said. "It was as awesome as any labor and delivery experience can be."
Just like his big brother, Cyprian has a unique name, which his parents said they planned carefully.
"We like unique names and wanted to name him after someone who has a powerful history," his mother explained.
She said Cyprian is the name of a Catholic saint, bishop and martyr of North Africa, who always fought for the church and stood up for his beliefs.
Now the proud parents, high school sweethearts who married in 2010, have two sons -- but they plan to have many more.
"We want to adopt as well," said Joe Jones, who volunteered to work with foster children at Mary's Mantle Maternity Home. "We always wanted a big family, and this is the start of our growing family."
Cristianna Jones, a teacher for students on independent study, and her husband, who is on active duty with the Air Force, shared another coincidence Tuesday.
They were placed in the exact same hospital room at Mercy where Ignatius was born in April 2011.
Reporter Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or email@example.com.