By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While we welcomed the New Year, a Minneapolis woman was delivering her first child.

Little Kaleah Williams was born at 12:17 a.m. Thursday at Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville.

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Her mom, Kathryn, went into labor around 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

But it was just before midnight, when the countdown to the New Year began, that this little girl made her entrance into the world.

Kathryn and Kaleah’s dad, Ernest, are all smiles. They say just looking at the newest addition to their young family brings them great joy.

Kaleah, who weighs 10 pounds 2 ounces, took her time getting here. She was four days late, scheduled to arrive Dec. 27.

“I was afraid she was going to come on Christmas, and then she thought, ‘Nah, I think I’m going to wait a little longer,'” Kathryn said.

Mom and Dad say the baby needed a little coaxing before making her grand appearance — including a walk up and down three flights of stairs.

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“We went to the mall, walked around the mall a little bit yesterday,” Ernest said. “After we came home from the mall, then we came here.”

That was around 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The next several hours crawled by, and when things began happening in New York City, something magical happened in the delivery room.

“Actually, I think she started pushing right when the countdown would have started,” Ernest said.

Having one of the first born children of the New Year has special meaning for this couple.

“It’s just like a whole new beginning, everything about it, it’s just all new,” Kathryn said. “A whole new meaning.”

Kaleah has a head full of hair, and — according to hospital staff — a strong set of lungs.

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Ernest has already given her a nickname, little baby Lee Lee, but Kathryn says she’s not so sure about it.

Reg Chapman