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For the second year in a row, a patient at Medford's Rogue Regional Medical Center gave birth to Jackson County's first baby of the year.

Yaretzi Castillo Hernandez — 7 pounds, 4 ounces — was born at 5:05 a.m. to Maria Hernandez and Carlos Castillo-Ramirez. Cradling Yaretzi in her arms, the tiny infant swaddled in a blanket and a knit cap, Maria Hernandez said the little girl is her first child. Hernandez gently removed the cap from Yaretzi's tiny head, revealing a thick patch of dark hair.

"She was supposed to be born Jan. 10," Hernandez said through a translating relative. But on New Year's Eve, Maria had to cancel dinner plans after she started having contractions at 8 a.m.

The mood Thursday morning could only be described as one of hushed adoration as nurses, family members, hospital staff and news media filled Hernandez' room at the hospital's Family Birthing Center. "These gifts are from volunteers from the hospital," Hernandez said, gesturing to a row of baskets lined up next to her bed, each one stuffed with with childcare products.

Yaretzi wasn't the only baby born at the hospital Thursday morning. One was born at 10:14 a.m., and another shortly before noon. "That makes three today," said Asante spokeswoman Lauren Van Sickle, who added that she'd called other area hospitals to check but didn't learn of a birth that morning except at Rogue Regional.

In 2014 alone, 1,516 babies were born at the east Medford hospital, but Van Sickle says the hospital where the first baby is born varies from year to year. "It's a toss-up," she said.

Jackson County's first baby of 2014 was also born at Rogue Regional, while the 2013 baby was born at Providence Medford Medical Center. 

Reach reporter Thomas Moriarty at 541-776-4471, or by email at tmoriarty@mailtribune.com. Follow him at @ThomasDMoriarty.

Maria Hernandez kisses her newborn daughter, Yaretsi Castillo-Hernandez, New Year's Day at Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford. Yaretsi was the first baby born in Jackson County in 2015. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch