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Elkhart General, Memorial babies are first deliveries of the New Year in Michiana

“It’s a girl!”

Sage Dahlia Benton made her grand entrance into the world just after 5 a.m. Saturday at Elkhart General Hospital, making her the first baby born on New Year’s Day in the Michiana area.

She was born at exactly 5:04 a.m., Jan. 1, 2022, weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces.

“She’s just so perfect,” her mom, Katherine Caldwell said from her hospital room.

She and Swade Benton posed for pictures with their nurse, Kim Nielson, RN.

Caldwell and Benton, who both live in Goshen, had actually been expecting Sage to be born prior to Christmas. This is their first child.

But baby Sage had other plans.

Caldwell said she had been sent home just before Christmas to wait out her delivery. “I never thought she would be born on the first of the year,” Caldwell said.

Proud Grandma Julie Harness helped name her granddaughter.

“She is sweet, active, alert and sleeps so soundly,” Caldwell said about baby Sage.

“Our perfect, precious angel,” she added. “We are looking forward to seeing the kind of person she grows into. We couldn’t be happier.”

At Memorial Hospital, a South Bend couple gave birth to the first baby of 2022 in St. Joseph County.

“It’s a girl!”

Fabiola Pina Lopez and Margarito Miguel Arcos of South Bend proudly welcomed baby Emely into their family at 11:43 a.m.

The couple’s first baby girl weighed 6 pounds, two ounces at birth. Memorial RNs Amelia Edwards and Kara Sinders tended to the couple and newborn.

Baby Emely will be the little sister to two big brothers at home.

Lopez said no one expected the couple to have a baby girl because there are no other girls in the family, so everyone is excited for their “little princess” to go home.


About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Director of Communications. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.