Heather and Trey Toole tracked two different clocks on New Year’s Eve.
As in the past, the Myrtle Beach couple celebrated with friends and family from their neighborhood. They watched Mariah Carey’s fumbled musical performance on ABC and counted down until the Times Square ball drop.
But they were distracted. Heather was due to give birth and experiencing quickening contractions.
“We were enjoying ourselves but at the same time I was clicking the contraction app on my phone,” said Heather Toole, 34. “The contractions started to get close together.”
By the time the ball dropped, the contractions were about five minutes apart, she said. Within half an hour they were on their way to Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital.
Daughter Alayna Rayne Toole was born at 5:38 a.m., weighing 8 pounds, 1 The Toole Familyounce and stretching 19 inches. She was the first birth of 2017 at a hospital in Georgetown County.
“She wanted to ring in the New Year with us,” said Trey Toole, 41. “She wanted to be here on this momentous occasion.”
The hours after birth were a period of excitement and happiness, according to the couple. They especially enjoyed the reaction of Alayna’s older sister, Alexia, 9, who had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of her new sibling.
“She sat right down and held her,” Heather Toole said. “It was like she had held her a million times.”
The couple had joked about the prospect of having the first baby of 2017, but didn’t really take it seriously, Trey Toole said.
“It was a nice surprise,” said the proud father. “It’s a nice story for her.”
Even so, it really wouldn’t have mattered when she arrived, Heather and Trey Toole said.
“As soon as she came out it was euphoria,” Heather Toole said. “The relationship we have, to bring her into that, is very special to me.”