Happy 2k19: New Year babies, polar bear plunge and more

The new year has brought in new life.

“New Year's Eve day I just had this feeling, I was contracting all day and just sat through them, I finally looked at my husband and said this is it,” said Leslie Karpov.

The couple thought little Gracelyn might be their Christmas present, but she made her debut New Year's Day just after midnight. However, watching the clock was the last thing on Leslie's mind.

“Everyone was saying Happy New Year and I was like what?” said Karpov.

Gracelyn was the first baby of 2019, within the St. David's system in the region. Her birth represents a lot for this family of four now.

“It gives them a whole new meaning to the year of 2019,” said Dr. Kathryn Anger, OBGYN, St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center. 

“New challenges for me. I’ve never taken care of a baby girl. New year, new challenges, new situations, but I'm all for it, I'm open for it,” said Leon Karpov, Gracelyn’s father.

Down the road in Austin, born at 12:01, Hector Nieto has claimed the spot for first baby in the city.

These bundles of joy may have warmed hearts, but hundreds of Austinites picked a much colder way to celebrate the holiday, by participating in the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Barton Springs Pool.

“I've been active in a running group, and a bunch of us decided this is how we want to start the new year,” said Paige Bockhorn, polar bear plunger.

The water stays within a range of 68-72 degrees, but it's the getting out that makes things chilly.

“There is a science to it. You get on the edge, you don’t think you just jump, that's the science,” said Bockhorn.

From plunging in the cold temps, or welcoming a new baby, 2019 in Austin had already made its grand entrance.