While many were out on the town celebrating the New Year, the first South Florida baby of 2019 was born at The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial.

Coming into the world at 12:05 a.m. on January 1, Aryah Parreiras weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and was 20.8 inches long. Parents Gabriela Herrera, 25, and Gabriel Parreiras, 41, have been married for three years, and met while working abroad for Royal Caribbean International.

“We were surprised to find out she was the first baby – I originally understood it was only at Jackson,” Herrera said. “We expected her the 28th of December because I was feeling the contractions then, but this date is incredible.”

The first-time parents were nervous but prepared for their new arrival. For months, they read books and researched exactly where they wanted their baby delivered. They chose Jackson after friends and family shared their positive experiences.

“You are bringing a new baby to the world, and you forget about the pain and you start to enjoy the miracle that is happening at the time,” Herrera said. “Who was really stimulating her with feelings and sensations was him.”

Gabriel Parreiras did his part by spending time singing to his wife’s belly when he felt his daughter uneasy, which helped keep the baby calm when she was born.

“There is a traditional Brazilian song I would sing to her that was sung to me as a child,” he said. “Even when I was working, I’d call my wife while out at sea to sing to Aryah at night. I will continue to sing to her.”

The parents were grateful for the care they received from the Jackson multidisciplinary team that was there for them every step of the way, including their prenatal visits at Jackson’s Ambulatory Care Center. They feel that they couldn’t have made a better choice.