Nataly Rivera

Nataly Rivera, a mechanic assigned to 1st Air Cav. Bde., cuddles new daughter, Layla Shelton on New Year’s day. Shelton was recognized at the first baby born at CRDAMC and in the local area in 2020.

“A queen is never late. Everyone is simply early,” fabled “Princess Diaries” Queen Clarisse of Genovia, once quipped. On Jan. 1, in royal fashion, Layla Shelton confirmed the perfect timing of an arrival by becoming the first baby born at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in 2020, a few days after her due date.

The 6-pound, 15-ounce girl arrived at 1:12 a.m. and immediately began melting the hearts of everyone in the room.

“She was due on December 29, but she made an entrance on New Year’s Day,” Nataly Rivera, a mechanic with 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, said, ecstatic about the arrival of her little princess. She was all smiles as she cuddled the wide-eyed newborn. Mom and baby were faring well.

“We are doing well, everything is good” Rivera said.

Baby Layla’s arrival earned her the distinction of being first baby of Fort Hood and the local area, accolade that brings with it a certain amount of fame and notoriety as newspapers and television broadcasts joyfully announce the new arrivals.

But it’s not just the press, in Baby New Year fashion, the little miss was also showered by well-wishing visitors and a diaper hamper filled with pink clothes, toys and layette items.

Layla was first, but not the only baby born on New Year’s day. She will share her birthday with four other Fort Hood babies born at CRDAMC the same day.

The Labor and Delivery Team was enthusiastic about all the New Year’s Day births.

“We’re excited about every birth here at CRDAMC because each one is special,” they said. According to hospital officials, welcoming the first baby of the year has been a long-standing CRDAMC tradition and “we are happy to partner with our families to make the day special.”

With all the public excitement surrounding the New Year’s arrival winding down, Rivera looks forward to enjoying time with her little one.

“She’s here,” Rivera said, “and I’m just so happy.”