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Shelby County's first baby of 2019

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Lydia Purviswas bornat 7:57 p.m. on Jan. 1, 2019, to become the first baby born at MHP Medical Center, and in Shelby County, in the new year.
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Tiera and Ben Purvis pose with their daughter, Lydia Charlotte Rose, at MHP Medical Center.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

Lydia Purvis may or may not have a future in soccer.

Time will tell for the newborn, but regardless of what interests she discovers in the future, first-time parents Ben and Tiera Purvis are happy she’s doing well.

Lydia was the first baby born at MHP Medical Center this year. Weighing seven pounds, 13 ounces and measuring 21 inches, she arrived at 7:57 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

Ben, who is the boys varsity soccer coach at Shelbyville High School, and Tiera had been trying to have a baby for awhile, he said.

“It’s a little surreal to think that we’re parents now but it definitely changes the way you look at things and the way you care for things,” Ben said. “I would go with the flow and not worry about how things looked or the way things worked but when it comes to having a daughter, I want everything to be perfect. I think you have that heightened sense you now have to take care of this little one.”

Whether or not Lydia pursues soccer will be up to her, but Ben admitted they may have some more shopping to do now that she has arrived. Not knowing the sex of the baby ahead of time, about half of Lydia’s toys are soccer-related, he said.

“We’ll probably have to get her some more dolls,” he said with a laugh.

Her full name, Lydia Charlotte Rose Purvis, honors several family members.

The couple narrowed her first name down to two options and chose Lydia because of its biblical background and while it’s not an uncommon name, is not “overly popular or trendy,” Ben said. He called her name “something timeless.”

They wanted her to have two middle names because both of them have two middle names as well, and Charlotte and Rose have meaning on both sides of the family. The name Charlotte is a tribute to Tiera’s dad, Charles, who died a few years ago.

Lydia’s arrival came somewhat as a surprise for the happy couple. Her due date was today, but the couple had scheduled an induction for Dec. 31 before it was pushed back to Jan. 2.

Lydia had other ideas.

“We originally thought we were going to have the baby at the end of the year,” Ben said. “She decided to come naturally on the first. She had her own schedule and decided she wanted to be the first born in Shelby County.”

Labor took awhile to progress, but “then it just kind of happened,” he said. “Next thing we know we’re pushing and here comes the baby.”

Lydia’s scores were good when they left the hospital on Thursday and Tiera, while a little weak after the delivery because she didn’t put on much weight during her pregnancy, is doing well. The three went back to the hospital on Friday for a follow up.

Thursday night was the first night that the three were home with their three dogs, Layla, a Boston Terrier; Mulan, a Yorkie; and Londyn, a Maltese Pekingese. All three dogs have their own personality and the couple expect Layla to be Lydia’s protector.

In fact, shortly before a phone interview with The Shelbyville News, Layla, who was laying next to the bouncer, snapped at one of the other dogs who came over to sniff the baby, Ben said.

“I think tonight will be better because they will be around her all day,” he said Friday morning. “They will start to understand we have to go through a routine.”

As for what future awaits Lydia?

Certainly Ben would love to see his daughter grow up playing soccer, but beyond that, he hopes she gets into sports in general, regardless of which one.

After her arrival, Dr. Tobi Hough suggested a different future for her.

Lydia has “massive hands and fingers,” Ben said, and Hough told the couple Lydia could become a pianist. Neither Ben nor Tiera are musically inclined, he admitted with a laugh, so he said he doesn’t know where that talent would come from.

Regardless, Ben and Tiera are happy Lydia is home and healthy.

“She was just perfect the moment she came out,” he said.