JEFFERSONVILLE — She’s less than a week old, and Destiny Denise Lynn Williams is already making her mark. She’s her parents’ first child, her grandparents’ first grandbaby, she’s a first niece. She also carries the distinction of being the first baby born in Clark County in 2019.

Destiny was born at 8:55 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1. She weighed seven pounds, 3.9 ounces and is 21 inches long. Her parents, Jeffersonville couple Tandra and Damarius Williams, say they’re excited and still adjusting to the feeling of having their first baby.

She’s “very special,” Tandra said. “I’m still in shock and excited.”

“We’re still trying to figure out exactly who she looks like,” Damarius said.

The couple didn’t expect Destiny to arrive on New Year’s Day; Tandra’s due date was Jan. 13.

And they didn’t realize until later that she was the first baby born this year.

“I didn’t really pay attention to that,” Tandra, who was in labor more than 24 hours, said. She said she was getting an epidural around the time the ball dropped to mark the new year. “But she has a holiday birthday — it’s crazy.”

For being the first baby born at the hospital this year, Destiny and her parents were gifted with a booster seat, a white dress with a bonnet and booties and two bags of baby care items.

“It’s always exciting to have our first baby of the year,” Danielle Chancey, a registered nurse in Clark Memorial’s NICU, said. “She gave us a little bit of a scare at first, but she’s done very well, and she’s set the pace on her own.”

Destiny was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck; she was placed on oxygen right away and then taken to Clark Memorial’s neonatal intensive care unit for special care.

A few years ago, this level of care would mean the baby would have to travel to a Louisville hospital. But since Clark Memorial upgraded its NICU in 2017, the hospital had everything Destiny needed in-house.

“It enabled her to stay here with her parents,” Chancey said. “You don’t want to separate the baby and the mom, so it also helps with bonding, too, because [Tandra] is allowed to come in here and not have that gap or bridge of them being together.

“It makes her recovery a lot better, too.”

The family is expected to be able to take Destiny home this week and they’re ready — her room is already decorated in purple, black and white.

She’s “got everything she needs, plus more,” Damarius said. “We can’t wait to get her home.”

Aprile Rickert is the crime and courts reporter at the News and Tribune. Contact her via email at aprile.rickert@newsandtribune.com or by phone at 812-206-2115. Follow her on Twitter: @Aperoll27.

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