At exactly 34 seconds after midnight on New Year’s Eve, a tiny little voice was heard for the very first time. Little Meilani Morales was letting the world know that she had arrived!

Weighing in at 5 lbs, 15 oz, little Meilani was not expected until later in the month. But not only did she arrive in time for the New Year’s celebrations, she quickly grabbed the spotlight as the first baby born at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in 2019, and quite possibly the first baby born in our region in 2019.  All around her, the world rejoiced!

Leading the celebration were her parents, Julie Palencia and Silvio Morales of Silver Spring. Meilani is named for her father’s grandmother. She joins her big sister, who just turned one, in a family surprised by all the extra attention.

“She’s a blessing—my New Year’s gift,” is what mother Julie told NBC4 Washington. And father Silvio echoed her joy: “It’s pretty amazing. It’s incredible. We’re just very happy and blessed—and just really happy that she’s healthy.”*

Healthy babies are what the Birth Center at Shady Grove Medical Center is all about. We are proud to be the hosts for the delivery of about 4,500 babies each year. And we never tire of being there to take care of them and their families. These tiny ones already carry our fondest hopes and dreams for the future.

As the first baby born at Shady Grove in 2019, Meilani and her parents received a special gift basket of toys and clothes and baby essentials to mark the moment.  But every single day—on holidays like New Year’s Day, weekends, late nights, early mornings—SGMC generally welcomes more than a dozen babies—each raising her or his own voice announcing their arrival.

Not every baby has a news crew standing by to record the event. But the care and attention they receive from our skilled and dedicated team is just what is needed to make their start in the world—as Meilani’s mother Julie describes it—a blessing.  We are so fortunate and blessed to be a part of it.

Welcome, Meilani—and all those New Year’s babies who have joined us in the past few days. We are glad that you are here.