Vanessa and Josh Tillson with their son, Rowan, the first baby born at MaineGeneral Medical Center in 2021. He arrived Friday at 12:54 a.m. Photo submitted by Joy McKenna

AUGUSTA — A Sidney couple welcomed Augusta’s first baby less than an hour into the new year Friday.

Rowan Tillson was born at 12:54 a.m. to parents Vanessa, 26, and Josh Tillson, 29, at MaineGeneral Medical Center. Rowan is the Tillsons’ third child, joining daughter Paisley, 5, and Jesse, their 17-month-old son who died of an asthma attack in 2019.

Both parents said that their new child is a signal for better things to come in 2021, especially after the complicated year of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s a nice way to start the new year,” Josh Tillson, a self-employed trucker, said. “It can’t be bad, right?”

“Our family’s been through hell even before the pandemic,” said Vanessa Tillson, a stay-at-home mom.

The journey to become pregnant was arduous for Vanessa Tillson, who had her tubes tied just after the birth of her son. After an unsuccessful operation to get them untied, the couple resorted to in vitro fertilization. Through those efforts, Vanessa Tillson became pregnant in May.

“We thought we weren’t going to do it because of the pandemic,” Vanessa Tillson said.

Rowan Tillson came after about an hour of labor, which is long compared to Vanessa Tillson’s previous history.

“My kids usually just fall out,” she said with a laugh. “They catch ’em.”

Perhaps more excited than mom and dad is Rowan’s sister Paisley, who is staying with relatives until her parents are back.

“Paisley is over the moon,” she said. “She’s over the moon and keeps telling her Nona that she can’t wait until her baby is home.”

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