New Year’s baby born to Macon couple brings joy, comfort

bpurser@macon.comJanuary 1, 2013 

Described by both parents as a blessing from above, Alexis Thomas greeted the New Year of 2013 as the first baby born Tuesday at one of the three major hospitals in Bibb and Houston counties.

The 6-pound-12-ounce baby girl was born at 10:36 a.m. at Coliseum Medical Centers to parents Sheila and Maurice Thomas of Macon.

“She’s a gift from God,” said her father, a sanitation worker for the city of Macon.

Her mother, who works in housekeeping for a major hotel chain in Warner Robins, agreed.

“She’s a blessing,” she said.

Alexis, who came about a week early, was a special birthday present for her father. He turned 49 Tuesday.

The precious bundle wrapped in a blanket also brought joy and comfort at a time that was also mixed with sorrow, the couple said.

Emma Bell Thomas, 63, the mother of Maurice Thomas, died earlier Tuesday morning at the Coliseum after a long illness.

The couple was at church New Year’s Eve at New Birth Ministries on Williamson Road in Macon when they got word that she wasn’t doing well. About 7 a.m. Tuesday, as they were getting ready to leave for the hospital to visit her, they got the news that she had died.

“My water broke right after,” said Sheila Thomas.

She wiped away tears.

She’d asked for a cesarean section after learning at the hospital that her daughter was in a breech position, which is not in a head-first position, for delivery.

The bittersweet emotions of the day could be seen in both their eyes as each took a turn cradling their precious baby.

“I’ve had a lot of people tell me: He took one and gave me one,” Maurice Thomas said in reference to God.

Both expressed thankfulness that Alexis is healthy.

She weighs the same as the last of four other children born to the couple. Sheila Thomas also has an adult daughter from a previous relationship.

Combined, that’s four girls with names that all begin with “A” and two boys whose names begin with “M.”

Sheila Thomas said she expects Alexis will be just as bright as the other children, who are all very smart, she said.

Maurice Thomas also is a grandfather to a 3-year-old boy.

On Jan. 15, the family plans to move from their current three-bedroom home to a five-bedroom home in Macon. The move was planned in anticipation of Alexis’ birth, her parents said.

Maurice Thomas looked down and smiled at his little girl.

“She is very beautiful,” he said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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