FARMINGTON — Farmington natives Meghan Bitterauf and Levi Daku were expecting the arrival of their first child on Christmas Eve. But when Bitteraulf went into labor Dec. 31, a week late, around 10:30 a.m. at Franklin Memorial Hospital, the couple knew their son’s arrival still would come on a special date, regardless of the calender year.

At 12:46 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Bitterauf gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Isiah Norman Daku — the first baby of the New Year born in central Maine, and possibly in the state.

“We were due on Christmas Eve, so the little bugger waited a week,” Daku said in a phone interview Friday.

After a week of patience and anxiety awaiting the birth of their son, Daku said that in “one word” Isiah’s arrival on New Year’s Day is “awesome.”

Daku said Isiah is healthy and happy. The proud father called his firstborn, 21.5 inches long and weighing 9 pounds, 12.7 ounces, “a big boy.”

A spokesperson at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta said that hospital’s first baby of the new year was born at 3:48 a.m. to parents Keltie and Adrian Beaudoin, of Winthrop. The baby is Wesley Cooper Beaudoin, who weighed 8 pounds and was 21½ inches long. He joins older sister Samantha, who is 16 months old.

As of mid-afternoon Friday, the staffs at Inland Hospital in Waterville and Redington-Farview Hospital in Skowhegan reported no births and weren’t expecting any to occur soon.

It’s not clear if Isiah is the state’s first baby of 2016, but he may possibly be. A spokeswoman at Maine Medical Center in Portland said Friday afternoon that hospital isn’t releasing any information about whether a baby was born earlier, and no other hospitals that provide maternity care had reported an earlier baby.

Franklin Memorial officials wouldn’t speculate if Isiah was the first in the state.

This is the third year in a row in which the first new year’s baby in the Morning Sentinel coverage area was born at Franklin Memorial Hospital. On Jan. 1, 2015, Kimberley Ballanceau and John Oberton, of Livermore Falls, welcomed their third child, Adam Kevin Oberton, as the first baby of 2015. Della Joy Kangas, born to Davin and Holly Kangas, of Strong, at Franklin Memorial Hospital was the first central Maine baby born in 2014.

Bitterauf and Daku chose the name Isiah because they liked the name. Isiah’s middle name, Norman, is also Daku’s middle name. He received it honor of his grandfather.

“It’s such a huge blessing. We are just both very happy and joyful about this blessed event,” Daku said.

Bitterauf, 34, and Daku, 36, met when they were both growing up in the Mt. Blue school district. They never dated, and they went separate ways for college. When they both moved back to Farmington, they reconnected. The couple is engaged to be married and happy to be planting their family roots in Farmington.

“We both grew up here. It’s home,” Daku said.

Bitterauf was unavailable for an interview Friday, being busy with her new baby boy; but Daku said she is doing well.

As the parents of the first baby of the year at Franklin Memorial Hospital, Bitterauf and Daku will receive a “Cozy Coupe,” which includes books and baby gifts from local merchants, gift cards, and a $25 deposit account certificate from Bangor Savings Bank.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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