She wasn’t expected to arrive until the end of January, but medical issues speeded up the labor and delivery process a bit, resulting in a New Year baby for Kortney Snow and Colton Merrill of Waldport. Born at 11:16 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 1, Remi Faith Merrill was the first baby to be born in 2022 at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport.

“We were both very excited to be expecting after two years of trying,” said the new mom, cradling the tiny two-day old infant in her arms. “She arrived early, at 36 weeks and one day.”

Remi weighed five pounds, 15 ounces and was 19.5 inches long at birth. For the celebratory photo, Remi was dressed in the smallest clothing the first-time parents had brought with them – matching velvet pants and cap and a sparkly top personalized with her name.

The couple has much support from their extended family and friends in the Waldport area, where Kortney grew up, and in Idaho, from where Colton and his parents moved about seven years ago. He works at Georgia-Pacific in Toledo and the couple recently built a home in Waldport, he said. Waiting for them at home are their three fur babies, malamutes and husky/malamute mix (and no, they aren’t trained sled dogs.)

The new family was presented with three gift baskets prepared by the hospital’s maternity staff, by Samaritan Health Services and by the hospital auxiliary. Along with a case of newborn diapers, some of the gift items included baby towel/wash cloths, receiving blanket, winter hat set, goodnight toy, teether, pacifier clip, first tooth cup, scratch mittens, Precious Moments keepsake and more.

Kortney had planned on a natural birth, but even with the induction and c-section, she said everyone at the hospital, on the maternity unit and in the surgery suite was very supportive throughout. Helping to deliver Remi were Leah Swift, DO, and Amina Ahmed, MD.

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