Michigan City’s first baby took her time

January 5, 2019

MICHIGAN CITY — Vonzell Batchelder and Princess Kelly were actually hoping their first child would be a Christmas baby.

Instead, the Michigan City couple are the proud parents of the first baby born in 2019 at Franciscan Health Michigan City.

“It’s the first baby for us,” Batchelder said Thursday morning, about 12 hours after Londn’ari Nicole Batchelder entered the world at 11:04 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

“We were hoping for a Christmas baby, but that didn’t happen,” Batchelder said. “Then we kind of talked about what if it was the first baby of the new year.”

Kelly was actually expected to give birth around Jan. 9, but late Monday evening, she knew it was time, Batchelder said.

“We were at home Monday night when she thought she went into labor, but wasn’t sure,” he said. “And her doctor was on vacation in Hawaii, so about 9 a.m. Tuesday we just decided to go to the hospital.”

The birth was originally to be natural at La Porte Hospital, but the couple decided to play it safe and head to Franciscan, which was closer.

They went to the hospital, but Londn’ari decided to take her time, Batchelder said.

“She was in labor for about 27 hours,” he said, before the baby’s arrival late Tuesday.

“They did some checks and weren’t sure if her water broke, but then the tests came back and they induced labor,” Batchelder said. “We were going to have her natural, but she was sitting too high so they performed a C-section. And we liked the idea of a New Year’s baby.”

Londn’ari was born weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces; and was 21 inches long, dad said.

Everybody is doing well after the ordeal, though Batchelder was “on fumes right now,” he admitted Wednesday morning.

“We’re definitely doing good,” he said, “and the baby is healthy. They’re eating and if everything goes as planned, we’ll be going home Thursday.”

The family received a gift basket from Franciscan Health to celebrate the birth of 2019’s first Michigan City baby.

“Tomorrow we get to go home and start off fresh,” Batchelder said. “It’s definitely a blessing all the way around.”

Londn’Ari will, unofficially at least, be the first baby in La Porte County this year as well. A spokeswoman for La Porte Hospital said no announcement will be made about the first baby there.

“We are one of those hospitals who have decided to no longer share that information publically to respect the privacy of our patients,” Kelly Credit said Wednesday.

—From staff reports

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