Trinity Thelma Johnson takes honor as Manatee's first 2013 baby

rdymond@bradenton.comJanuary 2, 2013 

MANATEE -- Trinity Thelma Johnson came into the world at 12:54 a.m. Tuesday at Manatee Memorial Hospital, making her Manatee County's first baby born in 2013.

Dressed in her first outfit -- a red onesie with white polka dots -- the 8-pound, 5-ounce Trinity reacted to her celebrity by sleeping soundly and barely crying at all for her first 12 hours of life.

"She's very laid back," said Trinity's mom, Latasha Faye Jefferson, 29, a dietary aide at Heritage Park Care and Rehabilitation Center in Bradenton.

A beaming Jefferson said Trinity looked a lot like her 5-year-old son, Devin, who couldn't wait to come to Manatee Memorial Hospital to see his new sister.

"Why isn't she crying?" asked Trinity's nervous father, Willie Johnson, a 30-year-old Bradenton roofer and Jefferson's life partner. He rushed to the hospital only to arrive about five minutes after the birth.

"She's fine," said Manatee Memorial RN Jennifer Berndt, who had just brought a huge first baby gift basket into their room courtesy of the hospital, filled with baby supplies.

"She's probably wondering, 'Why is it so bright out?'" Berndt said. "One-day-olds are thinking mostly about eating and sleeping."

Johnson still wasn't convinced. He held Trinity up to the light, turned her sideways and finally got his ears next to her chest to make sure she was breathing.

"He's been doing that all morning," Jefferson said. "He keeps looking at her eyes and face to make sure everything is OK."

Then a big smile lit up Johnson's face. He finally began to relax and just cuddled Trinity in his arms.

"I love that smell from their baby breath," Johnson said, "I could breathe that all day. I'm just loving this."

Naming a child is al-ways an adventure, butJohnson, who gave Trinity the middle name Thelma in honor of his mother, felt inspired by his brother, who named his recently born child Serenity, which has the same spiritual flavor as Trinity.

Twenty years from now, Jefferson said she hopes Trinity is in college.

Johnson dreams that his daughter is an expert in karate and has a black belt.

"He loves kids," Jefferson said of Johnson with a grin. "He loves all the kids in the neighborhood."

While Trinity gets the honor of being Manatee County's first baby, the first baby of the new year at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center still had not been born Tuesday afternoon.

"And we have no moms in delivery," said hospital spokeswoman Jenn Bryan.

Twins are born in Sarasota

The first baby born at Sarasota Memorial was a girl to Sarasota residents Misha and Leigh Dworken at 6:51 a.m. Tuesday.

A minute later, a fraternal twin boy was born to the Dworkens.

The Dworken twins are preemies, coming 2 1/2 months early.

"The staff here at the hospital has been fantastic and our babies are doing great," said Leigh Dworken, the Tampa-based national director of beverage sales for the Bonefish Grill restaurant chain.

Misha Dworken is a baseball coach at Sarasota High School and works for Extra Innings.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-748-0411, ext. 6686.

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