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Dominic Xavier Whatts was the first baby born in Lee County in 2018. His mother Brooke Whatts gave birth at 2:05 a.m. on Monday at the Cape Coral Hospital. Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com

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Dominic Xavier Whatts' reluctance to wait for his official Feb. 2 birth date has made him a marked baby.

The son of Luis and Brooke Whatts became Lee County's first baby of 2018 Monday when all 6-pounds, one ounce of him came into the world at Cape Coral Hospital's family birthing suites at 2:05 a.m.

"There definitely was no stopping him," said Brooke Whatts of her 19-inch-long newborn baby boy. "He was early."

After being deposited in the special care nursery, just as a precaution, Dominic Xavier was doing just dandy Monday morning, resting comfortably replete with swaddling blanket, birth cap and the attention of a lot of the birthing suites staff.

The Cape Coral mom and dad said their fourth child became impatient to make their acquaintance starting shortly after the 33rd week and he was put off only with medications designed to keep him in waiting.

"We definitely weren't ready for him for New Years," Luis Whatts said. The family had been relaxing on New Year's Eve, letting their other children, Clayton, 12, Aubrie, 9, and Zachary, 5, play in the yard and swirl sparklers around while mom and dad watched.

Irregular contractions that began on New Year's Eve didn't concern mom.

"I didn't know what to think," Brooke Whatts said. "The contractions weren't really timeable."

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The family tried to settle down to watch a movie until mom started pacing and the contractions became regular around 11. She got her husband's attention with a stern "We gotta go!"

After a short and uneventful drive to the hospital, the couple got prepped and Dominic Xavier made his entrance.

"The labor was about the same as the other three," mom said. "But he just got here quicker." Luis Whatts, who manages Alico Center Auto and Tire in San Carlos Park, said he was shocked and happy that his son was the first baby of the year. "He'll have a unique story," he said.

Dominic Xavier nudged out one other early New Year's Day baby, this one at HealthPark, born at 2:35 a.m. The closest next pretender to the first baby crown didn't make an appearance until 7:30 a.m. at Gulf Coast Medical center.

For Cape Coral Hospital, the first baby of the year is an honor that's bypassed the Del Prado Boulevard facility for a number of years.

"It's been 10-years or so," said Pat Dolce, a Lee Health spokeswoman. "They've mostly been at HealthPark."

Asked if their early-arriving son would be the last Whatts family addition, mom and dad couldn't get the word "yes" out fast enough.

"We're not going through THAT again," Brooke Whatts said.

Connect with this reporter: MichaelBraunNP (Facebook) @MichaelBraunNP (Twitter)

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