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Hall County’s first baby of 2019 enters with a boom
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Brandy Mitchell tends to her newborn Andrew Stephens on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton. The boy was born at 12:32 a.m. making it the first baby of the year in Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers

Andrew Michael Stephens’ arrival on Jan. 8 would have been touching, as he would have shared the birthday of his late great-grandfather and partial namesake.

Instead, the 6-pound, 11-ounce boy was born at 12:32 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, one week before his due date, at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, becoming Hall County’s first baby of 2019.

And 20-inch Andrew was in a hurry to get here.

His mom, Brandy Mitchell, of Flowery Branch, arrived at the hospital at 10 p.m. Dec. 31.

Because of a fast delivery, Andrew “came out a little banged up,” Mitchell said, while lying in a hospital bed and cuddling Andrew in her arms.

“He wanted to come in with a boom on New Year’s, and he did,” she said.

The mother said Andrew suffered some bruising to his face and swelling around his eyes.

“Only your mom notices that,” said Brandy’s father, Michael Mitchell, sitting in a chair nearby. “He’s fine.”

Mom and baby are otherwise doing OK, with Brandy hoping she and her new son can go home on Thursday.

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Brandy Mitchell tends to her newborn Andrew Stephens on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton. The boy was born at 12:32 a.m. making it the first baby of the year in Hall County. - photo by Scott Rogers

Andrew’s father, Kenneth Stephens, wasn’t at the hospital during the interview. He had just left to tend to the couple’s two daughters.

The baby is named after Kenneth’s grandfather, Andrew, who died two years ago, and Brandy’s father.

The South Hall hospital took special note of Andrew’s birth, giving the family a bevy of gifts, including a stuffed giraffe, safety gate and activity exersaucer. Also, the family got gift cards, including a $150 one from Target, and a free dinner courtesy of the hospital.

All that came as a big surprise to Brandy.

“I didn’t even pay attention that it was New Year’s,” she said, referring to her rushed delivery. “That was the last thing I was thinking of. The doctor barely made it in the room.”

Andrew makes No. 7 among Michael Mitchell’s grandchildren.

“We started off with a grandson, then five granddaughters in the middle and hopefully ending with a grandson,” he said.

Brandy echoed that.

“This is my third (child) and my last,” she said.

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