Danielle Marie Leebens was born 19 minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day. Her parents used a bracket system to pick her name.
Blaine resident Lissa Clair went into labor Tuesday morning while shopping for New Year’s Eve munchies. Confident that her New Year’s Eve plans had changed, she abandoned her shopping cart and high-tailed it home.
“I was at Wal-Mart. I made a beeline for the door. The lady [clerk] was like, ‘You still have time to check out,’ ” Clair said.
“No, really, I have to go,” Clair told the store clerk. “I don’t need the stuff that bad.”
A little more than 13 hours later, Clair, 38, gave birth to the Twin Cities’ first baby of 2014. Danielle Marie Leebens arrived at 12:19 a.m. New Year’s Day at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.
Proud parents Clair and Shawn Leebens, 38, say they are thrilled with the title, but weren’t aiming for it.
“We really wanted her born on Dec. 31 since we’d been here since 11 a.m. on New Year’s Eve,” Clair said. “She didn’t quite want to come.”
Danielle is the couple’s first child. Clair has two other children from a previous relationship, Jacob, 14, and Jenna, 9.
“They are very excited,” Clair said.
Labor went smoothly, but deciding on a name proved trickier. “She was named by the flip of the coin,” Clair said.
The couple started out with a March Madness-style bracket system, eliminating names until they were down to the final four. They used a coin to make the final decision 13 hours after the baby was born. They plan to call her Dani for short.
“It was a name we both picked. It worked out really well,” Clair said.
Danielle weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and is eating and sleeping well, her mother said.
Clair, a home day-care provider, will take four weeks off to care for Danielle. Leebens works at a Twin Cities flooring company.
Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804