New baby

Nataly Rivera holds her new baby girl, Layla Shelton, at Carl R. Darnall Medical Hospital on Wednesday.

Two of the Killeen area’s three hospitals welcomed new babies for the new year Wednesday, with a baby girl being born at Carl R. Darnall Medical Hospital at Fort Hood and a baby boy born at Seton Medical Center in Harker Heights.

Layla Shelton, 6 pounds, 15 ounces, 19 inches, took the title as the first baby born in the area for 2020.

Layla was born at 1:12 a.m. Wednesday to Nataly Rivera, who is assigned with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.

“The baby was due on Dec. 29 but waited to make an appearance,” Rivera said.

Seton Medical Center

Leo Dante’ Johnson came into the world at 10:29 a.m. at 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and 20 inches long to Precious Benson and Justin Johnson.

Benson and Johnson were both surprised that their baby came on Wednesday because the due date for the baby was Jan. 6.

Benson talked about how she was feeling on Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m blessed because while giving birth, his umbilical cord was around his neck,” Benson said. “There was no sign of distress with him showing that something was wrong.”

Both parents were surprised and happy to have a new baby in their life.

Johnson said it felt special to have one of the first babies of the year.

“To think about how many babies are born a day and we were one of the first people, that’s very special,” Johnson said.

Johnson and Benson also have a 2-year-old daughter named Lei’la Shyne Benson.


As of 7 p.m.Wednesday, the hospital was anticipating the birth of a baby boy later in the night “if all goes according to plan,” according to Robin Bodkin, the executive director of marketing for AdventHealth.

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