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Caroline Leigh McBay came into the world on her own time table at 4:48 a.m. on January 1, 2010 at Rockdale Medical Center's The Birth Place to Wendy and Mark McBay of Covington, making her the first baby born in Rockdale in the new year.

Like her older siblings Meredith, 4, and Austin, 1, Caroline was born premature, just shy of 34 weeks.

"(The medical staff) were hoping to hit the 34 week mark, which is six weeks early, where the risk of prematurity is outweighed by the risk of infection... but she had
her own mind," said Wendy.

Wendy, a 13-year employee with Acuity Lighting and volunteer with the March of Dimes, was already in the hospital on bed rest because her water had broken earlier that week. When the contractions started, Caroline came out so quickly that neither the doctor nor Mark had time to get to the hospital. Mark said "I got here just in time as they wheeled the baby out."

At 4 pounds 10 ounces and measuring 17.5 inches long, baby Caroline seems to be doing well, said her mother, who is also well and on her feet.

The McBays had previously decided they wanted to stop at two children. "One night, we were sitting up talking, I’d been feeling moved to have a third one," said Mark, a Rockdale County High School alum and a commercial underwriting manager for Montgomery insurance. "I mentioned it to Wendy, and she said ‘I’ve been thinking about it too.’" Little did they know that the decision had already been made for them and a short time later, Wendy realized she was pregnant.

The McBays, former members of Conyers First Baptist and currently members of Covington First Baptist, said they were pleasantly surprised when their third turned out to be a girl. Meredith had been hoping for a little sister.