Two Merced County couples welcome first babies of 2014

rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.comJanuary 1, 2014 

— After 28 hours of labor, a Livingston woman welcomed Merced’s first baby of the year into the world.

Blanca Verduzco, 21, gave birth to a boy named Daniel about 7:32 a.m. Wednesday at Mercy Medical Center. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and measured 20½ inches long, according to nurses at Mercy’s Birthing Center.

Verduzco said the baby was named after his father, 21-year-old Daniel Leon. “It’s the first boy and it means a lot to his dad and me,” she said, cradling her infant near her.

Family and friends gathered in the Merced hospital room Wednesday to spend time with Daniel, who’s the first baby for the couple. “I was nervous through the whole process, but was anxious for his arrival,” Leon said.

Hospital staff said Daniel’s delivery was difficult at the beginning because the baby wasn’t in the right position.

“Mom labored for a long time and the baby had some difficulty coming out; that’s why we ended up doing a C-section,” said nurse Shawna Ward. “It’s hard to go all the way through that labor and end up with a C-section.”

Verduzco said it’s exciting to have given birth to Merced’s first baby and said she has high hopes for her child. “I just want him to go to school and be whatever he wants to be,” she said, “and to be happy.”

Daniel wasn’t the first baby to be born in 2014 in Merced County. That honor went to a baby girl named Mila, born about 1:58 a.m. at the Memorial Hospital in Los Banos.

Less than two hours after ringing in the new year, 26-year-old Jade Areia gave birth to Merced County’s first baby of 2014. “It’s pretty exciting because of the attention it's receiving,” Areia said.

Mila weighed 8 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 20 inches long, according to Areia. She was greeted by her father, 26-year-old Victor Vargas and two siblings, 4-year-old Matix and 23-month-old Madison.

The Los Banos couple plans to marry in the near future, Areia said, but for now they are enjoying time with the newest addition to their family.

“We just want her to grow up to be healthy and successful,” Areia said.

Sun-Star staff writer Ramona Giwargis can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or rgiwargis@mercedsunstar.com.

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