Meet Amanah, the area’s first baby of 2017

PHOTOGRAPHER: MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER
Amanah Santos, daughter of Maryam Ally-Santos and Richard Santos, of Cohoes, is the region's first baby of 2017.PHOTOGRAPHER: MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER Amanah Santos, daughter of Maryam Ally-Santos and Richard Santos, of Cohoes, is the region's first baby of 2017.

By Dan Fitzsimmons

NISKAYUNA- The first Capital District baby to be born in 2017 arrived at 12:01 a.m. Sunday at Bellevue Woman’s Center in Niskayuna.

Amanah Santos was born to parents Maryam Ally-Santos and Richard Santos of Cohoes. She came into this world weighing an even 8 pounds, with a height of 18 inches.

The couple said that, toward the end of the pregnancy, they didn’t even consider that Amanah, whose due date was Jan. 4, might be born around New Year’s Eve.

“For a first-time baby, we expected her to be overdue,” said Maryam Santos on Sunday afternoon at Bellevue. “My water broke at 7:30 a.m. [Saturday], so then I came to the hospital.”

“The doctor who delivered her said, ‘Cancel your New Year’s plans,’” added Richard Santos.

By then, the couple were wondering if they would have the area’s first baby of the New Year. And when the doctor declared Amanah’s birth at 12:01 a.m., it finally became real.

“At that time, we kind of figured it was hard to beat,” laughed Richard Santos.

For comparison purposes, the first baby born in New York City, with its population of 8.4 million, was delivered at 12:08 a.m., according to the New York Daily News. The Capital District has a population of about 1.1 million.

“I think it meant more to me than it did to him [Richard]; he was hoping for a tax deduction,” joked Maryam Santos. “It’s awesome; it’s something we’re going to celebrate every year.”

“It’s a cool story for (Amanah),” said Richard Santos.

The proud couple said they’re going to highlight Amanah’s special birth status as she grows, and even asked reporters to sign their new daughter’s baby book.

“We’re hoping she’ll find it special every year, especially as she grows older,” said Maryam Ally-Santos.

Richard Santos said the Bellevue staff were all eagerly anticipating Amanah’s arrival.

“It was kind of a special moment with everyone — all the staff — we were all kind of close,” said Richard Santos. “You could hear ‘Happy New Year!’ in the hallway as she was delivered.”

Richard Santos, 30, is an IT specialist for I.B.M. and breeds American bullies at his kennel, Smokin’ Barell Bullies. Maryam Ally-Santos, 37, runs a non-profit clothing line called “The Hijab Movement.”

Were they watching the clock in the delivery room?

“He was. I was pushing,” laughed Maryam Ally-Santos. She added that Amanah means “trust” in Arabic.

Amanah’s aunt Gina Santos said she knew her niece would be a New Year’s baby.

“She was due on the fourth, but as soon as we got that phone call, I knew it would be New Year’s Day, not Dec. 31,” said Gina Santos.