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Girl born six weeks early is first baby born in 2018 in Fargo-Moorhead

Evelyn Lou Banish, who was born at 12:27 a.m., Monday, New Year's Day at Essentia Health, was the first baby born in Fargo in 2018. She was born six weeks premature. Photo special to The Forum.

FARGO—Robert Banish was ice fishing when he got the word that his wife was in labor with their third child.

Evelyn Lou Banish arrived at 12:27 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 1, at Essentia Health, making her the first baby born in the new year in Fargo, according to local hospitals.

Little Evelyn came ahead of schedule. Her original due date was Feb. 14. Due to complications, her mother, Marla Banish, was hospitalized Dec. 20, so she spent the holidays in a hospital bed.

"It's been an interesting whole holiday season this year," Marla said. Her family visited her in the hospital on Christmas Eve, but spent Christmas celebrating at home.

Doctors planned to induce labor on Wednesday, Jan. 3, but Evelyn had other ideas. "She decided that she was arriving even earlier," Marla said.

Evelyn is in the neonatal intensive care unit and doing well, breathing without assistance. At birth she weighed 3 pounds and was 15 inches long.

Marla expects to go home to Milnor, N.D., on Thursday. Evelyn, who was born six weeks premature, might spend up to six more weeks in the hospital, but her doctor said he wouldn't be surprised if she was home in four weeks, Marla said.

At Sanford Medical Center, McMaster Aelen George was born at 6:45 a.m. He is the son of Glander and Michael George of West Fargo. He weighed 7 pounds, 7.2 ounces, and was 21 inches long.