An early present Christmas Day baby the perfect gift for couple

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 29, 2012

SALISBURY — Allie Noel Evans wasn’t supposed to be born on Christmas Day.
The odds said she wasn’t supposed to be born at all.
But as much of the world celebrated one child’s birth Tuesday, eastern Rowan County couple Robert and Travis Evans happily celebrated another.
Allie was the only baby born Tuesday at Rowan Regional Medical Center, hospital staff said.
Her middle name is another word for Christmas, but her parents actually chose it in the summertime. They thought she wasn’t due until Jan. 20.
Travis, her mother, said they liked the sound of the name and had no idea how much meaning it would hold.
“Now she is truly a gift from God,” she said. “We are so blessed.”
Travis, 43, and Robert, 40, started talking about having a child when they got engaged in early December 2011. Both had always wanted kids, but it hadn’t worked out yet for either of them.
“She went to the doctor to get checked out … and she asked, ‘Do you think we’re crazy?’ ” Robert said.
The doctor told Travis and Robert that they were both healthy, but their age could make it hard to conceive. If they wanted to have a baby, they needed to start trying right away.
The couple was advised to start fertility treatments if Travis wasn’t pregnant in six months, but they wanted to stick to the old-fashioned way.
“After six months went by, we just thought that it wasn’t going to happen,” Travis said.
The couple got married in early May. Then, just two weeks later, Travis found out she was carrying their own little miracle.
Her doctor revealed that their chance of conceiving had been just 5 percent.
“That was a big shock,” Robert said. “It was awesome that she was there when we said our vows.”
Robert, a UPS driver, started coming home and suggesting names that he had read on that day’s packages. Eventually, they decided on “Allie” as a first name, and “Noel” just seemed to fit perfectly after it.
“I’m a musician, and I said she’ll have a great stage name, ‘Allie Noel,’ ” Robert said. “Hopefully, she’ll take after her daddy.”
Travis, who owns a garbage service called PPR Waste, said she went for extra tests and checkups during her pregnancy, but everything seemed to be going well.
Around 2 a.m. Tuesday, her water broke. The startled but excited couple drove to the hospital a couple of hours later. Travis said a pair of nurses had just begun their 12-hour shift when she arrived, and they stayed an extra hour just to be there for the birth.
It wasn’t until 7:34 p.m. that Allie Noel Evans was born. She came home on Thursday afternoon.
Her parents say she sleeps in heavenly peace, without much crying or fussing so far. The newborn is draped in baggy clothes meant for a 3-month-old infant, because everyone expected her to be larger at birth.
Though Allie was born almost four weeks ahead of her due date, she still weighed a healthy 7 pounds and 1 ounce.
Travis said she was probably a bit further along than the doctors thought. She said she never expected Allie to be born on Christmas day, but she did get the feeling that her daughter just wasn’t going to wait until 2013.
“I just kept telling them, ‘I think she’s coming this year. I think she’s coming the week of Christmas,’ ” Travis said.
Robert said he would have stopped work in the middle of his 200 Christmas Eve deliveries if Travis needed him to. Fortunately, their own special delivery didn’t come until morning.
To keep Allie’s birthday from getting lost among carols, stockings and Christmas trees, her parents came up with a plan. They will still celebrate her birthday on Dec. 25, but the cake, presents and parties will come at a different time of year.
“We’ve got a beach house down at Oak Island,” Robert said. “What we’ll do is … we’ll never use the same weekend or the same day, and we’ll throw her a surprise birthday in the summer at the beach.”
Travis said she always wanted a summer birthday as a kid, because for her own in February, it was too cold to do anything fun outdoors. This way, her daughter will get to celebrate her own special day in the summer.
But this year, at least, Dec. 25 was Allie’s day.
The Evanses’ plans of grilling a Boston Butt and having a big family dinner were pushed aside. Their loved ones instead gathered at the hospital to greet the new baby.
Robert and Travis still have gifts that haven’t been opened, along with presents for friends and family that haven’t been wrapped.
But they said they already have the best Christmas gift they could imagine.
Looking down at his daughter, Robert smiled, shook his head and said, “I don’t think we can ever top this.”
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.