The first baby of 2017 born at Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center in La Junta made her debut on Friday, Jan. 6.

The first baby of 2017 born at Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center in La Junta made her debut on Friday, Jan. 6.

Genesis Genova Mondragon was born at 10:20 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2017, weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces and measuring 18 and 1/2 inches long.

Proud parents are Shanice Lopez and Alfred Mondragon of La Junta. Waiting at home were big brothers Ezequiel Lopez and Luciano Mondragon.

The parents said they were surprised to learn that Genesis was the first baby born at the hospital in 2017.

“We were surprised,” Alfred said. “It’s a blessing. We are happy to finally have her here.”

Shanice was due on Jan. 7 so little Genesis arrived a day early. Although they had found out they were having a girl, they were a little cautious as she has two older brothers. “We just kept thinking, what if the doctor got it wrong,” Shanice said with a laugh.

Along with finding out they were having a girl, they also had a name picked out, but after she was born, it was changed around. Alfred liked the name Genova and Shanice liked Genesis. When they entered the hospital, they planned to name her Genova Genesis. But, as soon as she was born, Shanice suggested Genesis Genova instead.

“As long as she was healthy — and she is — it didn’t matter,” Alfred said.

During their stay in the hospital, they had “visitors after visitors,” Alfred joked, but he said it shows “how much she is loved.”

The family will receive a variety of gifts. The First Baby Contest was sponsored by A Beautiful You.