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Elk Rapids Family Welcomes New Year’s Baby Girl

"Pretty overwhelming. What a way to kick off the year."

While millions were welcoming in the New Year, a few others were welcoming new lives into the world.

One Northern Michigan family was among them.

Millions of people spend New Year’s Day planning out resolutions.

One family spent it bringing a brand new baby girl into their family.

9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Jeff Blakeman sat down with the Drake family just hours after baby Nora was born and has more details on their special arrival.


"Around 7:30 this morning and two hours later, here she is."

A new year…a new life…

…And baby Nora is already working on talking.

"She’s got a lot to say," says Dana Drake, Nora’s mother.

Dana and Matt Drake spent New Year’s Eve anxiously awaiting not the ball drop…but Nora’s arrival.

"I was going to bed but i never fell asleep," Dana says.

"She said you should come to bed, too, because I think we are going to have a baby pretty soon," Matt says. "You should rest up."

Nora’s due date was three days ago.

Instead, she waited…until last night.

"The first time we came to the hospital, we drove past the Cherry Ball Drop so that was cool," Dana says. "We got to drive to the hospital and see the Cherry Ball."

The Drakes had to drive back and forth from Elk Rapids to Munson in 2015’s final minutes.

Then this morning, Nora was born.

"I was kind of choking back tears through the whole birth experience just of joy and happiness," Matt says. "You can’t describe it."

To Matt, Nora waited until the perfect moment.

"We always considered the possibility when we knew our due date that she could be a New Year’s baby and you don’t want to put any particular time frame as for when you plan for it to happen but it was really exciting," Matt says.

And gifts were waiting for the first girl of 2016 … a special blanket from a New Year baby past.

"That was from a woman that was born and was the first girl of the New Year many years ago and she delivered that to the hospital this morning," Matt says.

A 20-month old brother waits for her at home.

"Pretty overwhelming…with happy feelings, of course," Dana says. "I can’t wait for him to meet her."

Now all that’s left is to bring their New Year baby girl home.

"Our hopes and dreams are just joy and happiness every year," Matt says. "What a way to celebrate that New Year, thinking about this day, this life- changing day for us."