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Charlottesville's first baby of new year came earlier than expected

Though 2020 was a bleak year for many, the Kubinec family is entering 2021 with something to celebrate: a newborn son.

Born at 3:31 a.m. at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, Nathan Kubinec immediately distinguished himself as the first child born in the Charlottesville area this year. Nathan is Karen and Robert Kubinec’s fourth child and their first son.

Though from the area, the couple now lives in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates but traveled back to Virginia to be around family and friends for the birth. Two of the couple’s other children also were born at Martha Jefferson, adding another layer of connection, Karen said.

The timing of Nathan’s birth came as a bit of a surprise, Karen said Friday from her hospital room, as the family had been out Thursday celebrating the coming new year on the Downtown Mall.

“We were outside eating desserts and I noticed my contractions started to get a little more intense and so we went home and put the kids to bed and headed to the hospital,” she said. “Then pretty soon after that, our little boy arrived. I think we’re still in a little shock.”

In a funny twist of fate, Karen said when she visited the Martha Jefferson OB-GYN clinic earlier in the week, a midwife told her that she expected to see her picture in the paper after the new year.

“And she was right — somehow she had a premonition,” Karen said. “It makes me laugh because we totally didn’t expect it. It all happened so fast.”

Having a child at the beginning of 2021 is a blessing, she said, and she hopes the year brings more face-to-face interactions with the people she loves and a significant lessening of pain for those suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’ll be a slow process, but we’re hopeful and we are just grateful for the blessings that we have received and God’s kindness in our lives in 2020,” she said. “It’s special to have something so sweet and beautiful happen as the first moment of a new year, and we’re grateful for that.”


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