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Fresh faces greet new year

January 03, 2014

Leslie Villafuerte’s newborn, Jessie Junior, was the first baby born in the new year at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.

Jessie was born at around 4:30 a.m., weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 20 inches long.

Villafuerte and Jessie’s father, Juan Ramon Gutierrez, live in North Hills.

The baby’s original arrival date was scheduled for Jan. 4, so he was a bit of a surprise, but that didn’t bother Villafuerte.

“I’m very excited,” she said.

While her newborn’s name has “Junior” in it, he’s not named after any specific person in Villafuerte’s life.

“I just wanted him to have his own name,” she said.


Villafuerte has two other children, a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old.

Over in Glendale, the city’s three hospitals each welcomed babies on New Year’s Day.

Sophia Reyes experienced firsthand the saying that every time God closes a door, he opens a window with the birth of her son.

“It's a blessing,” she said, adding that her aunt had passed away just the day before.

Reyes' son, Solomon Reign Simmons, was born at 6:14 a.m. at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces and he was 20 1/2 inches long.

Reyes, of Adelato, said her son's original due date was Jan. 6. However, while she was visiting family in Glendale on New Year's Eve, she started experiencing pains.

She decided to go to Glendale Adventist just to check out how she was doing because her obstetrician, Dr. John Artenos, works there.

And then, there was a special delivery, which was Reyes' second child. She also has a 6-year-old daughter.

Reyes and Solomon's father, Brandon Simmons, have been together for 3 1/2 years.

Looking to the future, Reyes said she's still considering whether she'll add to her brood.

“All I'm saying is, I'm gonna think about it,” she said.

Over at Glendale Memorial Hospital, Mika Urtasun gave birth to her daughter, Nova Monroe, at 10:44 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Weighing 8 pounds and 1 ounce, her newborn measured 19 inches.

Urtasun used to work at Glendale Memorial, working with children who had behavioral problems, she said.

After living in Glendale for a short time, she now lives in Covina and works with special needs children at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in Culver City.

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