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SARATOGA - Little Avery McMorris, born almost two hours after the start of 2008, already has a nickname. It's "Firecracker."

Avery was due to be born on Jan. 1, but his parents, Briana and Matthew McMorris, of Ballston Spa, never thought he'd actually be the first baby - among eight hospitals from Albany to Glens Falls - to be born in the new year.

Briana's water broke at around 6:30 p.m., and by 7:30 p.m., the couple were at Saratoga Hospital, Matthew said.

"She wasn't in any type of labor. She wasn't having any type of contractions," Matthew said.

Matthew, an accountant and owner of MJM Tax Consulting in Clifton Park, was prepared to be at the hospital for 20 hours with Briana, a mortgage broker with Home Mortgage Network of Latham, he said.

But later in the evening, as the labor progressed, Avery's heartbeat caused concern for doctors.

By 1 a.m., Briana's doctor made the decision for Avery to be delivered by caesarean section.

At 1:44 a.m. Tuesday morning, Avery was born - and at the same time, so was his nickname, "Firecracker," which was given by their doctor because he was difficult to deliver.

"That was pretty surprising," Matthew said, referring to Avery's status as the region's first baby of 2008. "We talked about the first being a possibility, but only 5 percent of babies are born on their due date.

"We never thought we'd be the first baby in the Capital Region, especially at 1:44 a.m. I figured that window had passed. It seems awfully late to be the first."

Matthew joked when he spoke about what he was doing when he realized that his baby was on his way.

Matthew was watching an episode of "Lost," the popular ABC show, when Briana's water broke. It was an older episode, he said.

Matthew said he wasn't upset by the interruption.

"The baby is much more important than 'Lost.' I love the show, but I love my baby more," Matthew said.

Both Briana and Avery were in good health Tuesday afternoon, Briana said. She was experiencing only typical responses to surgery and fatigue, she said.

"We've had a bunch of visitors today, even with the snow - checking, making sure we're well and just to meet the baby," Briana said.

The couple kept the sex of their baby a surprise until he was delivered, Briana said. They picked Avery's name Tuesday morning.

"We had several names picked out, and once we met him, we decided on Avery," Briana said. Avery's middle name, William, was chosen in honor of Matthew's father and grandfather.

The family will return home on Friday, Briana said. Until then, she's enjoying Avery's time in the spotlight.

"It's wonderful. Our child is already a star," she said.

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