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One baby came early and one baby came late, but both babies were the first born in the New Year at Billings' hospitals.

Kayden Neal Paxson, born to Ryan and Katie Paxson, of Miles City, arrived about five and a half weeks early at 5:43 a.m. at St. Vincent Healthcare.

At 6 pounds, 5 ounces, Kayden lay on his back in the neonatal intensive care unit as Katie Paxson, a first-time mother, stroked her son's cheek and adjusted his teal knit cap. The newborn latched his tiny hand onto her finger.

Kayden, who was due Feb. 8, has no health issues but is expected to stay in the hospital about two weeks, Katie Paxson said.

Because of medical concerns with her pregnancy, Paxson came to Billings six weeks ago while her husband went back and forth from Miles City.

"I was thinking more next week," Ryan Paxson said.

But Katie Paxson went into labor about 1 a.m. on Sunday. "It was incredibly fast. He's beautiful," she said.

At Billings Clinic, first-time parents Jordan McDougall and Krista Roll of Billings knew they were having a boy, but hadn't decided on a name.

"We knew when we saw him," Roll said, cradling Jackson, her newborn, as she recuperated on Sunday afternoon.

Jackson McDougal was born by Cesarean section at 1:46 a.m. on Sunday, making him the first baby of 2012 in Billings. He weighed in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces.

Jackson yawned a few times, but mostly slept while his parents looked on.

"It's kind of neat having him on New Year's Day," Roll said.

The hospital staff presented Roll and McDougall with a basket of goodies, including stuffed toys, tiny slippers, bibs, hangars and a few diapers. Roll works at Internet Montana while McDougall drives for Jimmy Johns.

"It's been exciting. It's been wonderful. It's been awesome," Roll said.

Roll and McDougall said their baby was due on Christmas Eve. Roll went into labor on Friday. "We had to walk the halls," McDougall said, until eventually Roll delivered by C-section.

"We're just ready for naps," McDougall said.

Contact Clair Johnson at cjohnson@billingsgazette.com or 657-1282.

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Federal Court, Yellowtone County Reporter

Federal court and county reporter for The Billings Gazette.