Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg welcomed its first baby of 2019 when Harley Rae Espino entered the world at 8:36 a.m. on Jan. 2. Weighing in at 10 pounds and 3 ounces and measuring 21.5 inches long, Harley is the newborn daughter of Erika Martinez and Rolando Espino Jr.

“This is a great way to bring in the new year,” first-time father Espino said.

Espino, an operator with H&S Constructors Inc. in Corpus Christi, described the experience of being a first-time father as “surreal.”

“I’m so excited to be a dad,” he said. “I’m ecstatic, and I’m ready for it.”

While Harley is Espino’s first child, Martinez said the newborn is her third.

“I (also) have a 13-year-old and a 7-year-old,” she said. “All girls.”

Martinez said while her eldest daughter loves her new sibling, her 7-year-old is still “kind of jealous” of the attention Harley had been receiving that morning.

“She wants to be the baby,” she said.

Martinez said she and Espino arrived at Christus Spohn Kleberg at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning for a scheduled caesarean section after 40 weeks of pregnancy. She said there were no complications with the procedure.

“This was my second (c-section),” Martinez said. “The first one was an emergency, so I don’t really remember it. This one was planned, so it was different. Less scary.”

Espino said he remained by Martinez’s side throughout the procedure “until they kicked me out.”

Martinez said she was looking forward to doing “all of the mommy stuff” that comes with a newborn again for the first time in seven years.

“It’s been a while,” she said.

Martinez said she and Espino plan to try for one more child in a couple of years, which Espino said he is hoping will be a boy.

“I told him that I’d give him one more chance if (this child) wasn’t a boy,” Martinez said. “If this one had been a boy, I’d be tying my tubes right now.”

Espino said while he would like his next child to be a boy, he really does not mind if he and Martinez have another girl.

“As long as it’s big and healthy like (Harley),” he said.

As the first baby born in Kleberg County this year, Christus Spohn Hospital Kleberg presented Harley’s parents with a bag filled with diapers, baby wipes, toys and a “New Year’s Baby” onesie outfit.

Anthony Ruiz can be contacted at aruiz@king-ranch.com or (361) 221-0251.

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