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Update on first New Year's baby

For the record, the distinction of first newborn of the New Year in Erie County belongs to Meghan Hope Hilbrecht, the daughter of Michelle and Steve Hilbrecht.

Meghan entered the world at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, just two minutes prior to Pretty Moo, who was featured in a story Sunday in The News as the first baby of 2011.

It turns out that the relative late arrivals of the two girls threw hospital staffers, and the media, for a loop.

Over the past decade, the first baby of a new year has been born within minutes -- or at most, an hour or two -- of midnight.

Pretty, daughter of Burmese refugees Eh Moo and his wife, Yo Mu, didn't arrive until 5:37 a.m. Saturday in Sisters Hospital. Still, she was the first baby born in the new year born in a Catholic Health System hospital, prompting communications people for the system to alert the media as they typically do.

Meanwhile, Meghan was born at 5:35 a.m. Millard Fillmore Suburban staffers didn't run the birth up the chain of communication at Kaleida Health, apparently because it was so long after midnight that no one figured it could be the first of 2011.

A hospital staff change at 7 a.m. also contributed to the miscommunication.

When Kaleida Health spokesman Michael P. Hughes saw the story about Pretty posted on The Buffalo News website early Saturday afternoon, he decided to inquire again with the folks at Millard Fillmore.

On the double check, they realized that Meghan -- all six pounds, 11 ounces and 20 inches of her -- had snuck in a little earlier than Pretty.

Steve Hilbrecht, who drives a tractor-trailer, said the mix-up was understandable and no big deal.

"It's not a real competition," he said. "I'm just happy to have a baby girl. Everything else after that is superficial."

Meghan wasn't due until Jan. 19, but she picked a good time to arrive, according to her dad.

On most Fridays, he would be on the road. He was off only because of the holiday the next day.

"It was a big surprise for us," he said. "I guess I'm going to have her birthday off every year, too."

Hilbrecht reported that his wife was doing well and that his new daughter has a full head of dark hair and blue eyes and seems "pretty content."

e-mail: jtokasz@buffnews.com

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