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First Anchorage baby of 2014 born in base hospital

Devin Kelly
Layla Grace Gibson was born at 2:24 a.m. on Jan 1, 2014 to Courtney Gibson and her husband, Army Spc. Jordan Lee Gibson of the 725th Bravo Company Airborne at JBER hospital.
Courtesy the Gibson family
Layla Grace Gibson was born at 2:24 a.m. on Jan 1, 2014 to Courtney Gibson and her husband, Army Spc. Jordan Lee Gibson of the 725th Bravo Company Airborne at JBER hospital.
Courtesy the Gibson family
Thyda Lor holds her new born son Richie Rithy Lor on Jan 1, 2014 at Providence Hospital. The New Year's baby is the first child of Thyda and Chanra Lor.
Bob Hallinen
Thyda Lor holds her new born son Richie Rithy Lor on Jan 1, 2014 at Providence Hospital. The New Year's baby is the first child of Thyda and Chanra Lor.
Bob Hallinen

A baby girl born to a military couple at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson Hospital early Wednesday morning appears to be the first Anchorage-area baby of 2014.

Layla Grace Gibson was born at 2:24 a.m. to Courtney Gibson and her husband, Army Spc. Jordan Lee Gibson of the 725th Bravo Company Airborne. Layla weighed 8 pounds, 12 ounces at birth and was 21 inches long.

It's the first child for the Gibsons, who moved to Alaska from South Carolina three years ago and recently bought a house in Palmer.

"I'm just glad she's here, safe and healthy," Jordan said. "But I think it's really amazing she's the first one for the new year."

A second New Year's baby, a boy, was born almost exactly six hours later at Providence Hospital. Richie Rithy Lor was born at 8:25 a.m. after roughly 13 hours of labor.

His middle name, Rithy, means "strength" in Cambodian, said his father, Chanra Steven Lor, a contractor in Anchorage.

"We didn't expect him to come on New Year's," Lor said, and the mother, Thyda Lor, chimed in: "We never expected that."

The early-January timing of the birth bears special significance for the Lors. On Jan. 10, 1980, Chanra Steven Lor immigrated to the United States as a refugee from the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia.

And Jan. 1 was the date of Thyda and Steven's 2009 wedding in Cambodia. On Wednesday, the couple sent pictures of the newborn to family members still living in their former country.

"It's a special gift for us New Year's Day," said Thyda Lor, beaming ear to ear.

Reach Devin Kelly at dkelly@adn.com or 257-4314.

 


By DEVIN KELLY
dkelly@adn.com