TWIN FALLS — “Brahms’ Lullaby” chimed over the loudspeaker when St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center’s first baby of the year was born.
Fernando Ortiz Graciano came into the world at 9:20 a.m. Monday. Weighing in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, Fernando is 22 inches long and has a full head of black hair, now hidden under a blue knitted hat donated by St. Luke’s staff.
His mother, Maria Celene Graciano of Wendell, beamed as a nurse put him in her arms and their eyes locked.
“Oh, he’s precious,” exclaimed hospital spokeswoman Michelle Bartlome.
Graciano’s mother, Maria Concepcion, could hardly stand still waiting for her turn to hold the bundle of joy. Concepcion brought three of Fernando’s young cousins to meet him.
“Can I hold him yet?” she asked anxiously, before swooping him up and kissing his face.
Fernando’s father, Israel Ortiz, met his son earlier that day via FaceTime. Ortiz, a 30-year-old landscaper, is in Mexico, awaiting immigration papers.
Fernando, his mother’s first baby, is named in honor of his paternal grandfather.
Graciano, 23, spoke through St. Luke’s interpreter Blanca Villasenor.
“She says he is the best thing ever to happen to her,” Villasenor said.
Graciano moved from Denver to Wendell about two months ago, she said. She found out in October she was having a boy. Her pregnancy went smoothly, as did her 17-hour labor.
Fernando will go home with a blanket and onesie declaring him a St. Luke’s New Year’s Baby, a gift certificate for portraits, and a new car seat donated by Safe Kids Magic Valley.
“I never imagined having him today,” Graciano said, with Fernando back in her arms. “I’m happy. He’s the most beautiful thing.”