LOWELL -- It took less than three hours for the first baby of the new year to be born at Lowell General Hospital.
Arianna Josephine Patterson, the first child of Josephine Cassanelli and Morgan Patterson of Tewksbury, was born at 2:40 a.m. Sunday. She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces, and was 20.5 inches.
Arianna was due on Dec. 26, but as the days went on -- and the hours on New Year's Eve -- Cassanelli and Patterson realized they'd likely be having a 2017 baby instead of 2016.
"As we sat in labor all day, we started looking at the clock," Cassanelli said.
They figured claiming the first baby of the new year in Massachusetts wasn't as likely, but the first for the Lowell area was. "It's a pretty cool title for us," the 27-year-old mother said.
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"It'll be neat to show her when she's older," said Patterson, 29.
The couple, who met through mutual friends, both work at Cassanelli's father's business, Cass Towing in Rollinsford, N.H. Patterson is about as big of a Patriots fan as it gets, but there was little chance their baby daughter would be named after a sports hero.
When they found out they were having a girl, naming their daughter became more about their family trees.
Arianna was given a middle name of special meeting to both parents. It is her mother's first name and name of her great-grandmother on her mom's side. It is also the name of her great-great-grandmother on her father's side.
Both new parents praised the staff at Lowell General Hospital, which averages more than six births each day.