Martia Higginbotham and fiancé Seth Buess put 2012 behind them on Tuesday and welcomed their new child Zaniya into 2013 with optimism.
The 7-pounds-2-ounces baby girl, born at 12:17 a.m. at Ellis Medicine’s Bellevue Woman’s Center, holds the distinction as the first baby of 2013 in the Capital Region.
Zaniya Janea Buess shares the same birthday as her father Seth — himself born on New Year’s Day 24 years ago — but that was met with less fanfare than his daughter slept through unaffected on Tuesday.
Strangers from the media were visiting in the afternoon, snapping photos and posing questions to the young couple about the future that Zaniya faces.
The attention added some excitement to the day, as Higginbotham and Buess reflected on the fact that their life is now about Zaniya.
“It’s no longer about yourself,” said Higginbotham, who dressed in a winter sweater and jeans to welcome guests into her hospital room.
“There’s a lot that goes with it,” Buess said of the responsibility and work he expects to take on as he works to ensure a healthy future for his newborn daughter.
“I feel a really big urge to do, do, do,” Buess said.
Higginbotham, 20, suspects Zaniya wanted to make a grand entrance — Higginbotham’s two sisters both had children in 2012, and Zaniya was supposed to be due on Christmas Day.
“She’s a princess — she’s already spoiled,” Higginbotham said.
Buess, a concrete and swimming pool laborer, said it’s difficult to describe the world into which Zaniya is entering.
She arrived as the federal government wrestled with legislation to avert an economic crisis called the “fiscal cliff” — year-ending news that eclipsed suggestions of a December 2012 doomsday gleaned from a Mayan calendar.
Buess said he’s unsure if the world is “crazier” than when he was younger or if he’s looking at it differently because he’s getting older.
“I think it’s a little of both,” he said.
Zaniya was born in Bellevue Woman’s Center’s new wing, and she can consider herself the first New Year’s baby to stay there.
She was nearly one of the last babies of 2012 — another child was born at 11:27 p.m., marking baby number 2,639 for the year, according to Ellis Medicine spokeswoman Donna Evans.
It was a busy night at the Bellevue Woman’s Center — another baby was born at 12:39 a.m., not long after Zaniya, making three babies born in a little more than an hour, Evans said.
Welcoming Zaniya into the world on the first day of the year starts 2013 off on a positive note, said Dr. Nicholas Kulbida, one of the center’s hospitalists on hand in case babies are in too big of a hurry to wait for their family doctor.
“Whenever we see new babies born, there’s always optimism,” Kulbida said.
Buess said he expects that baby Zaniya will make her mark on the world.
“I think she’s going to be a superstar, like she came in, first on the first,” he said.