First Valley baby for 1999 born Jan. 3 |

First Valley baby for 1999 born Jan. 3

by Merrie Leininger

Douglas County’s first baby born in 1999 had to fight for a couple of days to get out.

Harrison Ackley was born Jan. 3 at 5:01 p.m. after his mother, Jennifer Emeterio, 18, was in labor for two days.

Although he wasn’t due until Jan. 7, Jennifer said she wasn’t surprised to have the first baby of the year because he had been trying to get out for a while. She said she had been dilated for days before she even went to Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

“So, I knew he was coming,” she said. “But I didn’t know he was the first baby until I was leaving the hospital Tuesday.”

She said she was glad to be receiving presents for Harrison, but hadn’t expected it.

The Record-Courier delivered gifts to the new mother that were donated by Valley businesses. Some of the gifts include a $125 gift certificate to Raley’s, a $50 savings bond donated by Uniformity and an engraved silver cup from Joyce’s Jewelry and Gifts.

“I wasn’t expecting anything. I just wanted Harrison out,” she said.

Now Jennifer will have to just concentrate on recovering for the Caesarean section she had to have to deliver the 7 pounds, 14 ounces, 19 inches long Harrison for the next couple of weeks.

Although she is in pain from the surgery, she said she is glad to have her baby.

“I’m glad he’s out. It’s easier to hold him this way than in my belly. It’s easier to walk,” she said.

She has been living at the City of Refuge home for pregnant girls for six months.

Jennifer said she has lived on her own or with her boyfriend in Quincy, Calif., since she was 16 years old. Her parents live in Sparks, but she said she couldn’t stay with them because they have three other children and there wasn’t room for her.

She found out about the City of Refuge through a crisis hotline, and David and Diane Gamble, who operate the home, put a roof over her head and taught her about taking care of a baby in addition to counseling her and helping her get back together with her boyfriend.

“It would have been real tough (without the City of Refuge). I wouldn’t have known how to take care of a newborn,” Jennifer said. “It’s like a family here; I can trust everybody.”

She said she is glad to have so many people around to help her during these first few weeks of Harrison’s life. The five other girls who are living there now help her with him because he is the only baby.

“They help out while I eat or do other things. I just have to ask them to hold him for a little while,” she said. “He probably likes it. He’s spoiled already.”

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