Western county welcomes 1st baby | TheUnion.com

Western county welcomes 1st baby

Robert HugginsLara (left) and Ben Shepard admire Holly Caroline Shepard, western Nevada County's first baby, on Tuesday with Lara Shepard's mother, Sandy Starkey (right).
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

For her patience, Lara Shepard got a tiny golden spoon – and a new baby girl, the first child born in western Nevada County this year.

Holly Caroline Shepard arrived at 12:05 p.m. Tuesday at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, just hours after her mother considered leaving the hospital after what she thought was a false alarm.

“I wanted to go home,” said Lara Shepard, resting and alert in the hospital’s maternity ward.

Lara and Ben Shepard’s third child spent much of the afternoon resting on a full head of red hair, just hours after entering the world.

“I feel terrific,” Lara Shepard said.

The new baby is 6 pounds, 11 ounces and 20 inches long. Because she was the first baby born at the hospital this year, her parents will receive an engraved golden spoon.

“The doctor was right on the money with this call. And it all happened very fast,” said Ben Shepard, a Grass Valley building contractor. “I’m just glad I didn’t stay up and get hammered” on New Year’s Eve, he joked.

“I was really going for having the last baby of 2001 for the tax deduction,” he said, eliciting a chuckle from Lara Shepard, a customer service representative for Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

The Shepards’ other children, Shelby, 7, and Seth, 4, met their sister for the first time Tuesday evening. The new addition eventually will share a room with her sister. The Shepards also bought a new car, which now will need three car seats.

“Seth wanted a brother, but Shelby’s terribly tickled to have another redheaded sister,” Ben Shepard said.

Lara Shepard was in labor for two hours Tuesday – a relatively short time considering “she was a very, very active baby.”

Sandy Starkey, Lara Shepard’s mother, visited the family Tuesday in the maternity ward.

“It’s just as wonderful as the first,” she said. “She looks so much like her sister.”

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