Noelle Marie Evenson was born 9:48 p.m. on Jan. 1, making her the first baby born in Hutchinson this year. She was held by her parents, Joel Evenson and Alissa Snook, Friday after receiving gifts from local businesses.

Early every January, the first births help welcome the new year. But when Noelle Marie Evenson was born the evening of Jan. 1, she helped usher in a little extra.

The daughter of Alissa Snook and Joel Evenson of Hector was the first baby of the 2020 decade born in Hutchinson. The young girl born at 9:48 p.m. weighed in at 6 pounds and 12 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.

“She’s healthy. She’s so good,” Alissa said as she held her daughter this past Friday morning in a quiet suite of Hutchinson Health’s BirthCare Center.

Noelle’s name was picked from a list compiled to reflect the winter season.

“It was the prettiest one to me,” Alissa said. “And it was one we could agree on.”

Noelle’s birth was not without its challenges.

“She had a rough pregnancy,” Joel said.

“I was very sick,” Alissa said. “And as far as delivery it went pretty smooth. Her (Noelle’s) heart rate was just dropping during labor and we had to have a (cesarean) section.”

Alissa, who works at Hutchinson Health, picked the hospital’s birth center because of her familiarity.

“I felt comfortable with the staff,” she said. “And they have really good doctors.”

The couple has lived in Hector where Joel farms for the past three years, along with Noelle’s 19-year-old sister, Izabelle. They came together seven years ago thanks to the encouragement of friends.

“We’ve just always known each other,” Evenson said.

“I’d say he asked me out,” Alissa said. “It feels like a long time ago now, but it was probably him. I’m just too quiet.”

Alissa said she knew Evenson was a keeper when she saw how good of a dad he is.

“And he’s a really hard working and nice man,” she said.

Alissa was on her feet Thursday, and by the time gifts from local businesses arrived Friday to celebrate the first Hutchinson baby of the year, the family was eager to be home where a support network awaited.

“Joel’s family lives in Hector, so they are very close by,” Alissa said, noting grandparents, aunts and cousins had reached out. “They have already offered their services.”

Joel expects Noelle might end up helping with farm work one day, but that won’t come for a few years. Right now, he and Alissa are just excited to raise their daughter.

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