|Queens Baby Wins Race
To Millennium First
By LIZ GOFF
Erna Sabovic rested peacefully in her
mothers arms on Jan. 1, content with her standing as the millennium baby.
Mayor Giuliani (l.) presenting
Queens' first millennium baby girl Erna with a "Property of New York" shirt.
Erna made her appearance at
Elmhurst Hospital Center precisely at two seconds after the ball dropped at midnight,
giving Queens bragging rights to the citys first baby of the 21st Century. But as
Erna and her doctors will attest, its not so much when you arrive, as how you get
Doctors at Elmhurst said Erna was naturally
labored, and delivered naturally without the use of forceps or a
"vacuum." When doctors recorded the babys birth at 12:00:02 a.m., she was
"fully delivered," said Dario Centorcelli, Elmhursts director of External
Thats why Ernas family and
doctors are disputing a claim by officials at St. Vincents Hospital on Staten
Island, that they have the millennium baby.
Rebekah Yi arrived at St. Vincents at
12:00:01 a.m., doctors said. And that makes her the first baby.
But the folks at Elmhurst said doctors who
delivered Rebekah marked her arrival at the moment her head crowned not after they
helped the delivery along with forceps.
"The baby wasnt fully delivered
at 12:00:01," doctors said. "Erna was fully delivered at the time her birth was
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stopped by Elmhurst
to visit with Erna and her family on Jan. 1 where he welcomed the newborn and squashed the
controversy by welcoming both babies as the "first" of the century.
Ernas mother Remziga Sabovic, 27, and
father Duljko Kandic, 29, were elated just to welcome their seven pound, eight ounce
daughter (she was 20 inches long).
Remziga Sabovic arrived in the United
States nine months ago from Bosnia seeking a better life and freedom from the dangers of
war for herself and her baby. Kandic has been in the United States for five-and-a-half
years. He emigrated from Bosnia to escape the atrocities of that countrys internal
conflict. Kandic lives in Astoria and works as a carpenter in Manhattan.
No one was sure, as of Jan. 2, of the color
of Ernas eyes, because she still had them shut to the controversy that surrounded
her birth. Ernas mom said that if her newborn daughter could talk she would have
just one thing to say.
"She would say, Im
first," Remziga stated.