PeaceHealth welcomes bookend babies

Final bundle of joy of 2011 arrives late on New Year’s Eve, followed by the first of 2012 a few hours later

By Craig Brown, Columbian metro editor


photoAri and Bethany Ariahadi welcomed their new baby girl, Olivia, at 9:50 p.m. New Year's Eve, making her the last baby born in 2011 at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.

Last baby of 2011

Olivia Ariahadi

Daughter of Ari and Bethany Ariahadi

Born at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center’s Family Birth Center at 9:50 p.m. Saturday

First baby of 2012

Mya Rae Bradford

Daughter of Catlin Larsen and Nadir Bradford

Born at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center’s Family Birth Center at 12:23 a.m. Sunday

They’re tiny and beautiful girls, both with black hair, swaddled in hospital blankets and sleeping peacefully in mother’s arms. Their dads watch from a sofa near the window, and when they go home from the hospital Monday, they’ll have a chance to meet their siblings.

But there’s a major difference between Olivia Ariahadi and Mya Rae Bradford. Olivia, you see, has a year on the girl down the hall at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center’s Family Birth Center. Born at 9:50 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, she was the last baby of 2011. Mya Rae entered the world at 12:23 a.m., apparently the first baby to arrive at any Portland-area hospital in 2012. (The first metro-area baby that will have a 2012 Oregon birth certificate arrived at 12:27 a.m. in Beaverton).

Not that Olivia was in any mood to reflect on 2011 as she slept through her first media interview at about 9 a.m. Sunday. But her parents, Ari and Bethany Ariahadi, couldn’t be more pleased. Or perhaps surprised.

“We weren’t trying, for the record,” said Bethany Ariahadi. With a due date of Jan. 4, the couple, who live “just down the street” from the medical center, were expecting a 2012 arrival. But when Bethany went into labor

about suppertime, they knew it wasn’t to be.

The Ariahadis coincidentally chose one of 2011’s most popular baby names when they named their new daughter Olivia Joy. According to the state Department of Health, which registers birth certificates, Olivia was the state’s second-most-popular name for girls in 2010 (the latest year available) and fourth nationally.

Bethany Ariahadi said the couple liked the name Olivia because of its meaning. It refers to the olive branch, a symbol of fruitfulness, beauty and dignity. Olivia’s middle name, Joy, was chosen as it is a family name shared by her mother, grandmother and two aunts.

Around the corner and down the hall, Catlin Larsen and Nadir Bradford, who live between Ridgefield and La Center, welcomed Mya Rae, also after about two hours of labor. “I didn’t know it would go that fast,” said Larsen. “I’m glad she’s here.”

The couple had thought they might get a Christmas baby — Larsen’s first due date was Dec. 25 — but when she missed that date, the family obstetrician suggested that Mya Rae would arrive on New Year’s Eve. Almost right.

Bradford said having Mya Rae arrive on a holiday makes her even more special.

True, that. But back to Olivia Ariahadi. As the last baby of 2011, she had another unusual visitor Sunday morning: Robyn Curran of the Uptown Village office of tax consultants H&R Block. Curran came with a diaper bag full of gifts for the Last Deduction of 2011, including baby supplies, a green duckie and a jumpsuit with “I’m a new tax deduction” printed on it.

“It’s nice to remind people (that) you guys are going to get a nice tax break,” Curran said with a big smile.

Craig Brown: 360-735-4514,