• 75°

Christmas came early for couple

The Todd family did not go Christmas shopping because their first baby had not arrived yet.

Little did they know, their present would be coming a day early.

“The baby was coming slowly all day, and I didn’t even know she was coming until we arrived at the hospital,” said Keri Todd, of Brookhaven. The 24-year-old and her husband, Jarrett Todd, also 24, are the new parents of a baby girl, Olivia Ruth Todd, who made her entrance on Christmas Eve at 8:10 p.m.

The parents wanted to make sure their first baby’s name was special by naming her after Keri’s grandmother, Ruth Marlene Rushing, and Jarrett’s nana, Barbara Ruth Todd. Baby Olivia Ruth also shares the same birthday as Rushing who told Keri that the baby was going to come early on her birthday no matter when the doctors predicted.

Keri is very close to her grandmother, who she said jinxed her, and she has always seen her as a great inspiration in her life.

“We still talk all the time and she lives right down the road,” she said

The 83-year-old woman visits her 13 great-grandchildren frequently to soak up all the precious moments.

The family could not be happier about their child’s arrival. The mother has decided to stay home from work to enjoy being a first-time parent. “I want to catch all the firsts: her first step, her first word, everything,” Keri said.

Their baby will grow up in church, she said.

“We want to make sure that she understands the importance of going to church as a family and we want her to get to know God,” she said.

The baby’s birthday will be celebrated as a special day just like Christmas. The family aims to make the two days separate because they both have their own special meanings. “She will most likely have two days of back-to-back gifts,” said Keri.