New Year’s baby is a ray of sunshine


The first baby born at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour in 2021 has brightened the new year for her parents.

So it’s fitting Mya McGuire and Dawson Hess of Jennings County named their baby girl Araya Sunshine Hope Hess.

“She’s my little ray of sunshine,” McGuire said.

Sunshine also is Dawson’s mother’s first name.

McGuire wasn’t expecting to go into labor until the second week in January, but Araya didn’t want to wait.

“I went into labor Wednesday (Dec. 30),” McGuire said.

Araya made her appearance at 5:15 a.m. Jan. 1 and was the first of two babies born at Schneck that day. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 13 oz. and measured 20 inches long.

“I wasn’t planning on it. It just happened,” McGuire said of having Jackson County’s New Year’s baby. “My due date was Jan. 11.”

This is the couple’s first child. Besides having to wear a face mask throughout her pregnancy, McGuire said there was nothing else unusual about being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mother and baby were released from the hospital to go home Sunday afternoon.

Araya’s grandparents are Phillip and Brandy McGuire and Stephen Hess and Sunshine Stewart.

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