A mother still recovering from jumping into a pool to save her child welcomed a new addition to the family Monday: the first baby of the new year born in San Diego.
This New Year's baby is possibly the first infant born across the county this year, said a hospital spokesperson for Kaiser Permanente. The parents welcomed their child, noting that the pregnancy was not without its challenges.
“Our 2-year-old fell in the pool at grandma’s house on Christmas morning," the father, Matt Thoma, a firefighter, recounted as his wife Jessica Thoma held their newborn. "That was a traumatic event for obvious reasons."
When the clock struck midnight, 31-year-old Jessica gave birth to her new daughter Reese Wryan Thoma at the San Diego Kaiser Permanente Medical Center. Reese weighs 7 pounds, 15 ounces and is 19 inches long, said the hospital spokesperson.
The parents, both San Diego natives, told NBC 7 that it was a complicated pregnancy because of the traumatic event. Jessica was late in her term when her first daughter plunged headfirst into the pool.
In her peripheral vision, she saw her daughter's boots go straight up from the water. Without hesitating, she jumped in.
"You don't think," Jessica said, explaining that instincts took over. She forgot how pregnant she was until she struggled to get out of the pool.
“It was the most traumatizing thing I’ve ever experienced,” she said, pausing for a moment. “But she’s okay. She’s fine.”
Matt has worked as a firefighter for the city of San Diego for the past five years.
“Usually with firefighters, people think we’re doing the heroic work," Matt said. "But seeing your wife do it is on a whole other level.”
He also jumped into the pool to help his wife, but this time, he said, she was the first responder.
"I jumped in as well, but she was the first responder," Matt said, gazing at his wife. "And I'll always be thankful for her taking that action."
Reese will also be welcomed by her 22-month-old sister Charlotte, said the hospital spokesperson. Jessica said her older daughter is one of those rare children who could fully grasp that there was a baby inside of her, regularly rubbing her belly and affectionately calling her "Eesy."
"I can't wait to get to know her," Jessica said.