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For the week of Jan. 12 through Jan. 18, 2000

Finally—the valley’s first year 2000 baby

Hailey couple not exactly mesmerized by millennium hype

Express Staff Writer

j12babe3.jpg (28782 bytes)Reaffirming the old proverb that good things come to those who wait, the Wood River Valley can finally rejoice in the birth of its first baby of the year 2000.

Thursday, at 8:01 a.m., Maria Warton, 31, of Hailey delivered a daughter, Isabella Warton, weighing in at 6 pounds, 7 ounces, with a shock of brown hair and deep brown eyes.

"She looks just like her mother," father Chris Warton, 34, a pilot, said Friday morning at the Wood River Medical Center.

A crowd of family, friends and the Wartons’ 17-month-old son, Peter, who vied for center stage with cries of "DA-DA" and a joyous tabletop dance, joined in the celebration.

"His sister has got a hard act to follow," longtime family friend Jay Freis said.

As for Peter having a new baby sister, however, "I don’t think he knows yet," Chris Warton said.

Couples across the nation began conceiving nine months ago with hopes of winning a $1 million reward for producing the first baby of the year 2000. The Wartons, however, were shy of celebrity status and wanted no part of the contest.

Nevertheless, they did receive a huge gift basket filled with essential baby supplies from 37 local businesses. The donations included a package of Huggies, a handmade cap knitted by a hospital volunteer and a Ty 2K Beanie Baby.

"We were trying not to have it on the millennium," Maria Warton said, while an Idaho Mountain Express photographer set up the classic hospital bed photo shoot, with the help of Fries and Chris Warton.

So much for privacy.

"We feel lucky that we have a son and a daughter because we were going to have two kids and that’s it," Maria Warton said.

Married doctors Kathy Woods and Rich Paris delivered the millennium baby.

For her part, Maria Warton said she was "looking forward" to going home—and she did just that on Saturday.

But first, there was the bustle of attention.

The hospital bed appeared small for the newly expanded Warton gang.

Isabella, in the arms of mom, stared helplessly out at her new, incomprehensible surroundings. Dad held Peter. And Fries, standing in a corner, said, "Dooby, doe, bah, thrrpp!"

Peter giggled, and the photographer snapped one for the history books.

Welcome to a new century, Isabella.


Writer Dana DuGan contributed to this story.


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