The first of the year |

The first of the year

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – James and Alicea Sheets came to see family over the holidays, and now they’ll be leaving in a few days with their newborn son, Wyatt James Sheets. Wyatt’s parents weren’t expecting him just yet. He was supposed to be born Jan. 28 – when the Colorado Springs couple would be back at home.But Wyatt decided to arrive about four weeks early. He was born at 12:13 p.m. Tuesday after a cesarean section, making him Valley View Hospital’s first baby in 2008.”It went pretty well,” Alicea said. “It’s been unreal. It’s still crazy that he’s here. It’s exciting.”The holiday visit to family in Rifle and Grand Junction got a bit chaotic when Alicea began having contractions during a New Year’s Day service at the Rocky Mountain Baptist Church in Rifle, where James’ father, Jim, is a pastor. The birth went well despite some concern about the early arrival.

“James stayed by Alicea’s side the whole time and cried like a baby,” said James’ mother, Eileen Sheets.”I love it,” she said of the new addition to the family. “This is my sixth (grandchild) and hey – bring it on. … I’m proud of James and Alicea because they’re just wonderful parents.”Wyatt is their fourth child.With the late-January due date, the couple hadn’t packed for their trip with a newborn in mind.”It was kind of crazy because we didn’t bring anything,” James said.Luckily, family and friends pitched in. And the hospital and Wal-Mart donated $200 each for the couple to buy things like clothes and diapers.Wyatt, at 6 pounds and 18.5 inches long, was doing well and resting with Alicea quietly Wednesday afternoon. His father saw his personality early on.”Some nurses and I were talking about his head looking a bit too big for his body,” James said. “As soon as we said that, he put his hands to his head like, ‘No! It’s fine!'”

Cuddled in Alicea’s arms, Wyatt wore a little Christmas-colored hat that James’ sister picked out. Alicea later put a white one with the word “adorable” on him. The couple’s three girls also shared the excitement. The three even helped decorate Wyatt’s room in Colorado Springs and pick out his crib.”I think it’s cool to have a little brother,” said Ashley, 6.James, an Army mechanic stationed at Fort Carson, was thrilled to have a boy since there’s already four females in the house. Sports images and a “football rug” are already in place in Wyatt’s room.”Personally, I would like him to become a NASCAR driver,” James said, causing laughter. “Obviously there’s college in there somewhere, too.”I truly asked (Alicia) – I wanted to name him Dale. I was a big Dale Earnhardt Sr. fan,” he added.Alicea mainly wants Wyatt to be happy and healthy.”I don’t know about a NASCAR driver,” she said. “But I guess we could work up to that.”Alicea stays at home and takes care of the kids. She’ll be working on adjusting the daily routine to the new baby boy and James is getting time off work to help out. Alicea’s been through having a baby before. Just not a boy.

“It’ll be new because he’s a boy,” she said. “It’s going to be a whole new experience.”Contact Pete Fowler:

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