Weather Updates

Couple’s firstborn is region’s first baby of 2014

MelissEric Valsi Crown Point welcomed Lake County's first baby New Year Anthony Michael Valsi 12:37 a.m. Anthony Michael weighed 7

Melissa and Eric Valsi of Crown Point welcomed Lake County's first baby of the New Year, Anthony Michael Valsi, at 12:37 a.m. Anthony Michael weighed in at 7 pounds 9 ounces. | CARRIE NAPOLEON/POST-TRIBUNE

storyidforme: 60046657
tmspicid: 21791964
fileheaderid: 10276397

Updated: January 5, 2014 1:05PM

Crown Point — Lake County’s first baby of the New Year entered the world at 12:37 a.m. Wednesday, the first child for new parents Melissa and Eric Valsi of Crown Point.

Anthony Michael Valsi, who weighed in at 7 pounds 9, ounces and measured 19 inches long, made his appearance a day earlier than anticipated and after 14 hours of labor. Melissa delivered her baby at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point.

“My due date was tomorrow but he decided to have my water break New Year’s Eve,” Melissa said, adding she began labor about 8:30 a.m. New Year’s Eve day.

Proud papa Eric said the couple wed a little more than three years ago and have been looking forward to the first new addition to their family.

“We’ve got a brand new house built for having a large family. He’s just No. 1,” the Southwest Airline’s mechanic said.

Along with being the first baby of the New Year and the first child for the couple, young Anthony is also the first grandchild on his mother’s side and the first male grandchild on his father’s side. Paternal grandparents Roberta Freebairn and Micheal Valsi welcomed a granddaughter earlier this year. Maternal grandparents Janis and Rick Flutka of Crown Point were visiting with their new grandchild Wednesday.

“He’s going to be spoiled,” Janis Flutka said while holding her new grandson, who slept quietly in her arms, rustling softly.

Eric wasted no time in introducing his new son to his favorite college team, Notre Dame. The infant just hours old boasted a Notre Dame cap on his tiny head. While both mother and father attended Purdue University Lafayette, Eric said the Fighting Irish have always been his favorite team.

“I’ve been a fan since I was this big,” Eric said, pointing to his new son. He said he found the cap for his son at the last home game of the football season.

Melissa, who is a teacher at Merrillville High School, said the couple decided earlier in her pregnancy to learn the gender of their child and hosted a reveal party to announce the surprise. Following the ultrasound to determine the sex, nurses were given a slip of pink paper and blue paper and wrote the results on the corresponding color. The couple opened the envelope with the news at home surrounded by loved ones.

The new mother said they tried to wait until the birth, but it was easier to plan for his room without making everything a neutral green and yellow. Anthony Michael will come home to a puppy-sports themed room.

“That’s the closest I could get to all Notre Dame,” Eric said.

The couple said it was kind of exciting and a surprise to learn their newborn was the firstborn of 2014 in Lake County. The hospital provided them with a basket full of goodies for the honor.

“It’s something you really don’t think about after the 14 hours of labor,” Eric said.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.