The first new New Yorker of 2012 is a Bronxite.
Rania Ali, who weighed in just over 7 pounds and 18 and a half inches long, was born just moments after the ball dropped in Times Square on Sunday, January 1, at Montefiore’s North Division, making her the very first baby born in New York City in 2012.
Rania’s parents, Alia and Imdad, were both born in Karachi, Pakistan, but did not meet until they had both moved to the Bronx, which has been home for both since they moved to the United States. Alia, the mother has lived in the Bronx for seven years, while Imdad has been in the borough for 11. They have been married for four years and lived in Throggs Neck for over two. They also have a three-year-old son, named Ryan.
Giving birth to the city’s first baby of 2012 has drawn a lot of attention to the family.
“We’re really happy about it, but I’ve never thought about it before,” Alia said on Tuesday, January as she was being released from Montefiore.
“We’re saving clippings from all the newspapers and videos, with interviews and all the stuff,” she said. “We’ll make a file and then I’ll show it to her so she can see how she was greeted into this world.”
The name Rania means “Queen” in Arabic.
Alia and Imdad both work in telecommunications sales, but Alia is taking time off from her career to raise their two children.
Imdad initially chose to live in the Bronx because a he had a friend in the borough. His first home was on East 181st Street and Grand Concourse.
“I like it here,” he said. “It’s close to work and I have friends here.”
Alia also chose the Bronx because it was an easy commute to her job. The couple met through relatives and then settled down in Throggs Neck.
She went into labor around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 31, and expected to give birth that afternoon. But as the protracted labor pushed the birth closer to midnight, Montefiore staff began discussing the possibility of witnessing 2012’s first birth in the city.
“We were not even thinking about it,” Imdad recalled. “Then the hospital staff said, ‘Oh, maybe she could be the first one.’ The ball was dropping and the baby was coming out, and there was all this excitement, everybody was happy. It was special.
“She’s a precious gift. She’s cute, she’s beautiful, and we will try our best to raise her the way she was born, with happy moments.”
Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394. Follow him on Twitter @bweisbrod