MANATEE -- Girls led the baby parade in Manatee County on New Year’s Day.
The county recorded its first baby of the year at 12:04 a.m. when Ladena Wright gave birth to 6-pound, 8-ounce Camille Wright at Manatee Memorial Hospital.
Three minutes later at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Alicia Logan gave birth to 6-pound, 7-ounce Brooke Logan.
The infants are first of thousands that will be born in Manatee County in 2012.
In 2011, Manatee Memorial Hospital recorded 2,137 births. Lakewood Ranch Medical Center had about 750.
Both mothers were surrounded with family midday Sunday and had similar wishes for their newborns.
“To be successful. To make sure she is healthy and all is well,” Wright said of her hopes for her daughter.
For herself, Wright said she wants to go into nursing. One of her sisters, Lateva Brown, expects to start training as a nurse this week at State College of Florida, and another sister, Lacey Houston, is already enrolled in nursing school out of state.
Lateva and Lacey were with their younger sister Sunday, as was their mother, Latonya Wright.
The birth makes Latonya Wright a grandmother for the first time.
“I feel wonderful. I cried,” Latonya Wright said.
At Lakewood Ranch, Alicia Logan, who already works as a nurse, shared the joy of a new birth with her husband, Derrick, and their two older children Tyler, 8, and Emily, 19 months.
“I am the only boy,” Tyler said.
Alicia Logan said her number one desire for the new life she brought into the world is that Brooke be happy and healthy.
Also gathering at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center on Sunday afternoon to see the new baby were Alicia’s two sisters, Gina Stepp and Nikki Cucci; and her mother and stepfather, Cyndee and Micky Strobel.
Both of the new moms received gift baskets.
Sarasota Memorial Hospital was also in the running for the area’s first baby.
A boy, Gabriel Barnes, was born at 12:07 a.m. He weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces.
“We weren’t aiming for it, but it’s pretty cool,” Gabriel’s mom, Robyn Barnes, said.
She and husband, Robert, are from North Port and have three other children.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 941-745-7021. Tweet him: @jajones1