Meet Shelby County’s first baby of 2019

Published 7:36 pm Sunday, January 6, 2019

By Michael J. Brooks / Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – According to Tenet Healthcare communications manager Laura G. Clark, Kaia Lange Austin was born on Jan. 1 at the Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster, making her the first Shelby County baby in 2019.

Her mother explained this was entirely unexpected.

“Kaia wasn’t due until Jan. 11, so she did this all on her own!” Katheryn Austin said. “The whole episode was pretty amazing.”

Kaia was born at 5:28 p.m. and weighed seven pounds and 12 ounces. She joins a well-established family.

“This was my first pregnancy,” Austin said, “but I gained three children when I married my husband LaMonte. We have two boys, ages 12 and 14, and another daughter, age 7. So, we’re done—that’s it. The family’s complete.”

Austin said Kaia is a Hawaiian name and means to have power or influence.

“Maybe her choice to be the first-born in 2019 shows she’s exerting her special power rather quickly,” Austin said. “The name also suggests being one with the sea. I grew up in Florida and I’m a real beach girl, so we chose this name very carefully.”

The Austins moved from Jefferson County last year and chose to settle in Alabaster for typical reasons, Austin said, including family-friendly neighborhoods, good schools and proximity to family.

“My father lives in Indian Springs and he’s been employed at UAB for 37 years,” she said. “It’s good to have a grandparent nearby.”

Katheryn Austin works at the Olive Garden in Hoover in service personnel. She’s assistant manager and a certified trainer. Her husband works as a web and graphic designer.

The hospital honored their first-born for the year with a birthday cake, a keepsake ornament and an engraved baby spoon.

“The hospital was phenomenal,” Austin said. “They’re absolutely amazing. They were helpful and showed wonderful attention to me. I couldn’t have done it without my nurse guiding me in this new experience. We’re as pleased as we can be.”