RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Some central North Carolina families are celebrating 2021 in the most joyous way, by bringing new life into the world.
Demetri Devon Gurley was the first baby born at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Demetri arrived at 12:12 a.m.
He is the son of Devon Gurley and Dorothy E. Bennett of Fayetteville. Demetri weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce and was 20 inches long.
"I'm so excited to have our baby boy finally," said mom Bennett. "Everything has been worth it. All the craziness of 2020 has been now worth it and I'm glad we're able to bring in 2021 like this."
Bennett said Demetri was a surprise for her and her fiance, but they were both overjoyed with the news. Still, she added that pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult.
"Everything with COVID just kind of changed everything," Bennett said. "It kind of made things lonely during the pregnancy because there's only so much involvement you can have, like he wasn't able to come to any of the doctor's appointments, he was able to come to the ultrasounds but those were only 3 appointments, I wanted him there for like every doctor's appointment. So like that was a little inconvenient.
Still, dad Gurley is thrilled for his new "best friend."
"I'm looking forward to parenting a piece of me. Watching a piece of me grow up. Teaching him about life, teaching him how to be a man," Gurley said.
August Ray Fletcher was the first baby to arrive at UNC REX Hospital in 2021. He is the second son of Jenna and Jarrett Fletcher of Wake Forest.
August Ray was born at 12:13 a.m. weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces
In an interview, Jenna and Jarrett Fletcher said August was conceived about a month after Jenna miscarried a baby, right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We don't know what God was doing in the miscarriage and why He allowed that to happen but we kept trusting that He would bring good," dad Jarrett Fletcher said.
Jarrett Fletcher said his son is named after one of the first Christian theologians of the 4th and 5th centuries.
"August is such a blessing to us and it's such a blessing to be on the other side and holding him in our arms now after the miscarriage," mom Jenna Fletcher said. "It was really exciting to us and such a blessing."
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At Duke University Hospital, the first baby was delivered at 1:41 a.m. His name is Hezekiah Hope, born to Brittany Black and Isaiah Hope.
Hezekiah came a little earlier than expected, but he was born healthy weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces. His mother, Brittany Black, said Hezekiah make this a very exciting and happy New Year.
At Duke Regional Hospital, the first baby arrived at 3:29 a.m. The baby's name is Everly Hope Jones, born to Cynthia Jones.
Everly weighed 7 pounds, 8 ounces and is 20 inches long.
"Having her on New Year's Day gives my husband and I the assurance we needed to know that 2021 is going to be a great year and that we are very blessed," proud mom Cynthia said.
The first baby born in 2021 at WakeMed Raleigh Campus was named Emma.
She was born at 2:03 a.m. to mother Sandra Maradiaga Orellana.
ABC11 will update this story as we get more information on new births from other local hospitals.