Submitted photo — Coretta McDonald delivered Jabari shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday by emergency cesarean section. Jabari, who wasn't due until Jan. 20, was transfered to a Jackson hospital soon after birth. McDonald and fiancé Brett Riley spent the day at Natchez Community Hospital while she recovered. Jabari is a fighter, mom and dad said.

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Fighting to be first: New Year’s baby comes three weeks early

Published 12:00am Wednesday, January 2, 2013

NATCHEZ — Natchez’s first baby of 2013 entered the world fighting and early Tuesday morning.

Jabari Riley was born to Coretta McDonald, 33, and Brett Riley, 31, of Lorman, at 1:05 a.m. on New Year’s Day at Natchez Community Hospital.

Jabari’s parents weren’t expecting him until Jan. 20, and McDonald had to give birth by an emergency cesarean section because Jabari was breech.

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Brett Riley, 31, and Coretta McDonald, 33, welcomed their baby boy Jabari into the world early Tuesday morning. Jabari was transferred to UMC in Jackson for treatment of a heart murmur and respiratory problems. The engaged couple holds a rubber duck, one of the many items they received from Natchez Community Hospital for having the first baby of the year.

Baby Jabari was taken to University Medical Center in Jackson Tuesday afternoon to be treated and tested for a heart murmur and respiratory problems.

His parents are confident Jabari will fight through any health problems and say being the area’s first New Year’s baby might even give him some good luck.

“He’s a strong baby,” McDonald said.

When Jabari gets home, his brothers, Jaquan McDonald, 11, Jeremiah Riley, 7, and Jaden Riley, 2, and his sister, Jaliah Riley, 7, will be ready with arms wide open, McDonald said.

“They can hardly stand it,” she said. “They keep asking me ‘Momma, when are you coming home?’ and ‘Is the baby here yet?’”

And the new baby will be taking home a basket full of goodies from the hospital staff for being their first baby of 2013.

“We do that every year,” said Marie O’Neal, department director for the birthing center. “We love to give them something special for being our first baby.”

McDonald and Riley said they were anxious about spending Jabari’s first night away from him, but the couple is headed to Jackson today once McDonald is released from the hospital.

“I’m nervous, but I know I’m headed straight there as soon as I can,” she said.

McDonald and Riley say 2013 started off with a bang and will hold many more celebrations for the couple, including their wedding in August.

“It’s going to be a good year,” Riley said.

LAUREN WOOD/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Coretta McDonald holds up a picture on her phone of her and her new son, Jabari, who was born shortly after 1 a.m. on Tuesday, New Year’s Day.


  • Anonymous

    Dear God, please watch over this newborn.

  • Jai Wifey 4 Life!!!!

    prayn for yall