New Year's baby

Justin Emery, left, and Tessa Sundby welcomed a son, Sawyer James, center, at 6:09 a.m. Jan. 1 at Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls. Sawyer was the first baby born at the hospital in 2020.

While many were preparing to ring in the new year, Tessa Sundby and Justin Emery were preparing to welcome in a new member to their family as the couple celebrated the birth of their baby, Sawyer James Emery was born at 6:09 a.m. Jan. 1, 2020.

Sawyer was the first baby born in the new year at Lake Region Healthcare in Fergus Falls and weighed in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces and was 20 inches long.

While labor took over three hours, Tessa spent much of the prior day at the hospital.

“I went in at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning to get checked, was in the hospital by 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I started laboring at 3 a.m. and he was here by 6 a.m.,” Tessa said.

Asked if Sawyer arrived on his due date, Tessa stated that he didn’t but “Dr. (Mike) Norgaard knew that he would be the New Year’s baby, joking with me, and we got that spot.”

When selecting Sawyer for the baby’s name, the couple said it “stuck with them.” The middle name, James, was selected because it was Justin’s father’s middle name. 

Asked what it is like to be the parents of the first baby born in the new year, Justin and Tessa “It’s been a blessing,” Justin said. “And a lot of hype,” Tessa joked.

The couple’s firstborn will also be welcomed home by a pair of brothers as the couple recently adopted a 7-year-old, Gage, and 2-year-old, Blake. “They are very excited,” Tessa said about the brothers welcoming in the baby. “I’m excited,” Justin said about the family addition.


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