Baby race ends in happy occasion for cousins

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When most residents were preparing to return to work Thursday and settle in for post-holiday normalcy, a race was ensuing in The Memorial Hospital Maternity Ward.

A race, that is, for the New Year's baby.

Kathy Rowton and her cousin, Stella Chapman, went into labor early that morning.

Family members were there with updates on the other's status, Rowton said.

"She was in the other room," Rowton said of Chapman. "My aunt came in and told me she was at 4 centimeters, and I was at five."

The race was won by Rowton at 12:34 p.m. Thursday, when she gave birth to David Anthony Diaz Junior.

Rowton had been in labor since about 4 a.m.

Rowton, whose due date was today, said the time leading up to her and her cousin's big date was a fun experience.

"It was pretty cool," she said, holding her newborn this morning.

The timeliness of her child's due date had not escaped her mind in the weeks preceding the birth, she said.

"I was hoping I would have the New

Year's baby," she said.

Rowton's cousin, Chapman, gave birth at about 5 p.m. Thursday, five hours after Rowton.

"She's still pretty tired," Rowton said. "She was in labor a lot longer than I was."

Inducing labor before the holiday season was never an option, Rowton said.

"I thought, "When he's ready, he's ready," she said.

Rowton said she didn't have the best holiday season this year, but that all changed Thursday.

"Now I have him," she said, staring at her

new son.

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