First baby of 2021

Desiray and Joshua Turner sit with their newborn son, Eli Turner on Wednesday at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center. Photo courtesy PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center

At just days old, Eli Turner already has an official title: Ketchikan's first baby of the year.

The littlest member of the Turner family was born at 4:44 a.m. on Wednesday to parents Desiray and Joshua Turner at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center's New Beginnings Birthing Center.

His grandparents are Richard Smith, Shona Schnarr, Connie Buhl and John Turner.

According to KMC information, "Eli weighed in at a healthy 7 pounds, 5 ounces and is 20 inches long."

Speaking to the Daily News from the family's home on Friday morning, Desiray Turner remarked that Eli's birth was "much faster" than that of his older brother, 21-month-old Brycen.

Desiray Turner said that her firstborn Brycen wasn't close to being the first baby of the year when he was born.

"He's a March baby," she said, laughing.

Eli and his parents left the hospital on Thursday with gifts in tow.

 At KMC, it's customary for the first baby of the year to be given a hand-crafted wooden cradle made by Ketchikan Police Department Sgt. Bob Cheatam.

The cradle was filled to the brim with gifts for Eli from KMC staff members, including but not limited to rattles, diapers, toys, swaddles, and clothes.

 Desiray and Joshua Turner also received gifts, such as sparkling cider, robes, slippers, candy and soaps.

 Speaking from home with the noises of children audible in the background, Joshua Turner said that the whole Turner family was healthy and happy.

Joshua Turner recalled that he wasn't nervous about Eli's birth.

"(It was) just more of the anticipation, aspect" Turner said. "Just patiently impatiently waiting."

Turner credited the staff at KMC's birthing center for providing a great experience for the now family of four.

"They're just super awesome," Turner said about the KMC staff. "They just did an awesome job and they were super friendly and fun and made it a fun experience."

KMC Communications Specialist Kate Govaars later told the Daily News that Eli's birth was special because Desiray works in KMC's operating room as a surgery scheduler.

"So it's exciting to be able to share in that excitement with her, and that's kind of the highlight," she said.