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Baby boy, first of ’12, comes early

He enters world at 12:42 a.m., 13 days ahead of schedule

By Kristin Netterstrom

This article was published January 2, 2012 at 4:54 a.m.


Todd Yakoubian (right) holds his newborn son Preston while his wife, Andria, cuddles with their oldest son Blake, 2, in Little Rock on Monday afternoon. Preston was born at 12:42 a.m., weighing in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces, and measuring 19 inches long.

— Preston George Yakoubian waited for his father to wrap up the evening weather forecast before making his way into the world.

At 12:42 a.m. Sunday, Preston was the first baby of the year for Pulaski County hospitals. Weighing 6 pounds and 10 ounces, Preston is the second son for Little Rock native Todd Yakoubian and his wife, Andria.

Todd Yakoubian, 37, had just finished his 10 p.m. forecast of “nice and chilly for the next few days” and was on his way home from the KATV, Channel 7, newsroom in downtown Little Rock when he got the call that his wife’s water had broken while he was on air.

“We waited a few minutes before calling Todd so he wouldn’t freak out,” said Andria Yakoubian, 38, who works as a promotions producer for KATV.

Preston wasn’t due until Jan. 14, and was actually to be born via cesarean section Thursday. But shortly after 10 p.m., Andria Yakoubian had a coughing spell while doing a few last-minute chores at home. Then her water broke.

She would have preferred her newest son have avoided the spotlight that comes with being the first baby of the year, but Preston’s father was excited. He posted updates on his Facebook page throughout the delivery.

“Hi res baby model shows a storm at any moment ... Stand by,” Todd Yakoubian wrote.

Two-and-a-half hours later, Preston was born through cesarean section. Dr. Ashley Deed delivered the 19-inch-long newborn at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.

“I think it’s pretty cool. I never thought, you always see it on the news every year, but I never thought it would be us,” Todd Yakoubian said. “We were in the operating room and the nurse came in when everything was wrapping up saying, ‘I called around and you are the first of the 2012.’”

“If we can’t have the tax deduction for 2011, this is the next best thing,” he said.

Preston beat other babies born at area hospitals by several hours, with UAMS Medical Center reporting its first baby about 3 a.m. and St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center after 7 a.m.

Named partly for his late grandfather George, Preston is said to look like his big brother Blake, who was born in July 2009.

Andria Yakoubian said their noses are the same and they share pouty-looking lips. He also shares his mother’s curls.

“I was very upset in the delivery room when Todd showed him to me and all I could see on the side of his face was a couple of curls. I have curly hair and I’m very anti-curly hair,” she said. “I just wanted him to have Todd’s straight hair.”

The infant is now one part of the estimated 312,780,968 people living in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That population is about 2.3 million more than on New Year’s Day 2011.

The bureau estimates that a baby will be born every eight seconds somewhere in the U.S. this month while someone will die every 12 seconds. Births, deaths and immigration combined will result in a new U.S. resident every 17 seconds in January, the bureau estimates.

Information for this article was contributed by Chad Day of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Arkansas, Pages 7 on 01/02/2012

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