Right after baby Barrett was born at 6:03 a.m. on New Year's Day in Duluth, he covered his face with his fists.
"His first ultrasound he didn't want to be seen and he put his hands up over his face," said first-time mother Kate Jaakola. "Then the tech was still searching and he flipped so we couldn't see his face. As soon as he was born that's exactly what he did."
Kate and Dan Jaakola of Cloquet welcomed baby Barrett into the world at the St. Luke's hospital's birthing center. The couple arrived at the hospital around 3 a.m. Wednesday and just a few hours later gave birth to a healthy baby of 7 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 ½ inches long.
"It was a lot in a short amount of time," Kate said of the labor.
The couple was surprised to hear that their son was the first baby born in Duluth, certain that one would have been born closer to midnight.
Barrett's due date was Jan. 6 and the couple had joked about him being a New Year's baby or a solid tax deduction if born at the tail end of December.
"But we weren't serious about it," Kate said. "When he was on my chest I asked what time he was born and then a few minutes later we kept hearing 'The first in Duluth' and "The first of the year' and 'The first of the decade.' We're like 'Oh my god.'"
Baby Barrett was sleeping much of the day away since his early morning entry into the world, though his dad said his big eyes were open after his birth. Nestled asleep in his mother's arms, his mouth popped open into the shape of a little circle.
"Oh, he sleeps like me," his mom joked. "Mouth wide open. Where's the drool?"
In choosing the name, Kate said she made a long list that included some names of characters in books she'd read. When Dan suggested Barrett, it stuck.
Excited family and friends continued to trickle in throughout the day to meet baby Barrett.
"He's been great," Kate said. "He sleeps and when he does get upset we seem to be able to calm him down; we used to talk to him when I was pregnant."
Shortly before 1 p.m. on Wednesday, one other baby was on its way to being born at the St. Luke's hospital's birthing center. Before Barrett, the last baby to be born at St. Luke's was on Dec. 30. The last time Duluth's first baby of the New Year was born at St. Luke's was in 2017.