New year, new baby

HANCOCK- One Copper Country family kicked off the New Year by bringing a new baby into their family.

At about 7:30 p.m. Jan. 1, Casey and Becky Strom of Calumet headed to Portage Health. At 9:34 p.m., they welcomed Rylee Nicole Strom.

“It was a quick birth,” Becky said.

Rylee is not just any baby; she is the first baby born in the New Year in a Copper Country hospital.

She joins four sisters – Alexis, 8; Caitlyn, 6; Bailey, 3 and Kyla, 2.

Rylee was born two days after her due date of Dec. 30.

“We were just hoping it wasn’t going to be a Christmas baby,” Becky said.

Although the couple’s goal wasn’t to have a New Year’s baby, Rylee is their second child to come close to the special Jan. 1 due date. Their youngest (now second youngest), Kyla, was born Dec. 28, 2010.

“We didn’t care (when she was born) as long as it was a healthy baby,” Becky said.

A visiting Portage Health doctor, Dr. Thomas McCurdy, delivered the baby.

“It was the first time I met him. He caught the baby,” Becky joked.

Mother, Becky, looked adoringly at Rylee, her eight pound, six ounce newborn, who was fighting off sleep Wednesday.

“We’re excited to have her. We didn’t know she was going to be a she, but statistically speaking, …” Becky said of her now five-daughter family.

All five girls’ genders have been surprises to the Strom family at birth.

The Stroms expect to go home today and all of the sisters are excited about the new sibling. The family received a gift bag from The Guilded Rose Gift Shop at Portage Health.

Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in Laurium did not have a baby born on New Year’s Day and there are no birthing centers at Baraga County Memorial Hospital or Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital.