Zariah Khloe Nicole Garza, the first newborn baby of Lea County in 2019 by just minutes, was truly a miracle baby for Daphne and Ray Garza of Hobbs.
Daphne was born at 9:58 p.m. Jan. 1 at Lea Regional Medical Center, weighing 7 pounds, 3.2 ounces, measuring 20 1/2 inches. She is the fourth child of the Garzas, and their first daughter.
What makes Zariah even more special is the way she arrived.
Daphne Garza had her fallopian tubes removed last spring, but by then, Zariah had already been conceived. Daphne and Ray found out in June that they would have a fourth child, after Daphne had her procedure performed in April.
“When I took the pregnancy test, I did a urine test and a blood test, and it came out negative, so they went ahead with the procedure,” Daphne said. “Everything was normal and then I started getting morning sickness. So another pregnancy test, I was like, ‘Ah, I guess I’ll get one.’ So I went ahead and took one and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m pregnant.’”
Daphne and Ray said Zariah is their miracle baby.
“She’s our only girl, our last one,” Daphne said. “It was a big ole blessing. I’m pretty sure she’s going to bless our life.”
“I’m just happy I got my daughter,” said Ray, the proud father. “I love all my children, but yes, a girl, that’s something we had wanted for a while, but when we decided we were already done with trying, she went ahead and surprised us. I just feel happy.”
Daphne went to the hospital with contractions on Dec. 28, but was sent home to wait it out a little longer. She went back the hospital around midnight Sunday and was in labor for almost 24 hours.
For being the first baby born in Lea County in 2019, the Garzas received a gift basket from Lea Regional Medical Center, the only facility in the county that offers obstetric services like labor and delivery. The gifts from hospital staff included bibs, blankets, wash cloths, swaddlers, diapers, wipes and stuffed animals.
Ray said Zariah was the first baby born at LRMC this year by just a three-minute margin.
“We didn’t know we were going to get nothing like that,” Ray said, regarding the gift basket.
“That was a nice surprise,” Daphne said. “We never win anything.”
Zariah is the grandchild of Carmen and Johnny Gutierrez, Rachel Prieto, Gina Calderon and Ray Garza.