POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- It was a New Year's Eve that Poughkeepsie resident Shatya Tolliver will never forget.
Tolliver went into labor on New Year's Eve, giving birth on Jan. 1 at 3:45 a.m. to Kamyah Selman at Vassar Brothers Medical Center. Kamya was Dutchess' first newborn of 2017. Kamyah is Tolliver's first child and weighed 6 lbs, 10 oz.
"It was exciting," Tolliver, a mental health worker, said. "It was very unexpected since she wasn't due until the 8th. We were very happy. It was a nice present."
Tolliver was celebrating at home with Elvin Selman, the baby's father, getting ready to watch the ball drop. She had some stomach cramps and Selman urged her to lie down. But Tolliver soon realized it was something more.
"This is not going away," Tolliver said. "We need to get to the hospital because I am in labor."
It took four hours for Kamyah to be delivered. Tolliver said she was crying when she got to hold her daughter for the first time. Selman has other children whose names start with "K" and Tolliver wanted to keep the tradition going.
"I had never been through anything like this," Tolliver said. "It was so overwhelming."
Since Kamyah was born, Tolliver admits that sleep has come at a premium.
"It's been such a struggle, but Elvin helps me out a lot," Tolliver said. "When she's up, I'm up and when she's sleeping, I'm still up."
Tolliver said she was initially disappointed that her baby will have to share her birthday with New Year's Day, but she hopes Kamyah enjoys it. She said she will make sure Kamyah doesn't get slighted by having her birthday so close to Christmas.
One perk of having Dutchess' first newborn was that Kamyah was treated to complimentary newborn portrait by Surprise Photography. Melissa Surprise, the owner of Surprise, has treated Dutchess' first baby to a free portrait session for three years.
Tolliver also received free beauty services from Bella Luci Salon in Poughkeepsie.
"That was so nice," Tolliver said. "Melissa was such a nice woman."
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