Reids bring Justice into new year with first baby of 2022

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 3, 2022

SALISBURY — With their baby’s due date not until Jan. 7, Tanesha and Arthur Reid Jr. could have spent New Year’s Eve celebrating the start of 2022 with family.

They were in for a different kind of celebration after doctors decided about two weeks ago to induce labor on the last day of 2021.

“When we found out we could possibly have the first baby of the year, we were excited about that,” Arthur said.

The family checked into Novant Health Rowan Medical Center on New Year’s Eve morning. After hearing that just a few women were expecting deliveries, the anticipation continued to build.

“They told us we had a very high chance,” Arthur said.

At 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Justice Skye Reid became the first baby born in Rowan County in 2022. She weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces at birth and measured in at 19.5 inches in length. Justice is the first baby to have been born on New Year’s Day in the past several years. Last year’s first birth happened just six minutes after midnight on Jan. 2.

“It’s going to be really special for her when she gets older,” Arthur said. “I think she’ll appreciate her birthday a lot when she finds out the backstory of it.”

Novant Health Rowan Assistant Nurse Manager Megan Fox, who also helped oversee the delivery of last year’s first baby, said the delivery went well. Fox said the year’s first baby is always met with enthusiasm from the hospital staff.

Tanesha and Arthur, who both work for the city of Kannapolis and married in April, picked the name Justice because they met while working in the criminal justice system. Justice has three siblings: Janiyah, 14, Jayden, 12, and Jade, 5. 

Justice was welcomed into the world with more fanfare than the typical baby. Along with a celebratory cake, hospital staff awarded the family a plaque for Justice being the first child born in Rowan County in the New Year.

For about 20 years, Smart Start Rowan has partnered with Novant Health Rowan Medical Center to give the family a gift basket. Smart Start is a nonprofit that offers an array of services to ensure children in Rowan County receive education, nurturing and support. 

“It’s one of our most long standing traditions,” Smart Start Executive Director Amy Brown said. “It’s also one of my most favorite things to do. It brings pure joy each year to be able to welcome our community’s New Year baby.”

This year’s basket was filled with at least three months worth of diapers and wipes along with other essential childcare products. The basket itself was so heavy it had to be rolled into the hospital room in a cart. The overflowing basket was delivered by Brown and Smart Start Outreach and Development Specialist Sarah Paynter.

“We just want to celebrate the new baby and the new family and hopefully they will grow up to use some of the services we provide in the community,” Paynter said. “It’s a win-win situation, that’s for sure.”

Paynter said the birth is a positive omen for 2022.

“We needed something like this,” Paynter said. “We needed a great way to start the new year.”