First Baby of 2014: Michael Victor Coddington

The Coddington family, Nicole, James and newly arrived Michael, the San Juans first baby of 2014 take time to relax at home.  - Contributed photo
The Coddington family, Nicole, James and newly arrived Michael, the San Juans first baby of 2014 take time to relax at home.
— image credit: Contributed photo

It is easy to understand why James and Nicole Coddington are increasingly comfortable with learning to expect the unexpected.

After a dozen years together, the Orcas Island couple decided about a year ago that they would pass on having children of their own, given their age, both on the cusp of 40, Nicole’s health concerns (she suffered a severe spinal injury at an early age), and given their financial resources and the number of people already living on the planet.

They underscored that decision on Valentine’s Day, agreeing that James would have a vasectomy. And he did.

End of story? Not by a long shot. Evidently, the universe had something else in mind.

On Jan. 2, at 7:16 p.m., Nicole gave birth to the couple’s first and only child, Michael Victor Coddington, at University Hospital in Seattle. So much for family planning.

“You could say it’s mostly my fault,” James said. “I was supposed to have my sperm level checked but a couple friends who’d had it done told me that it wasn’t really necessary, that you don’t need to do it and that it would all be okay. So I didn’t.”

Weighing in at seven pounds and 13 ounces, and 21 inches in length, Michael arrived in this world about a week past his due date (Christmas Day) and after an arduous 38 hours of labor for his mother, an unexpected adventure in itself. Doctors insisted on inducing labor because of the mother’s age, Nicole said. first baby of 2014

“It was rough,” she said. “I’m just glad to be on the other side.”

And the couple are way beyond glad that forces other than themselves apparently were at work in determining the future size of their family.

“He’s just cute as a button,” Nicole said of her newborn son. “He’s so adorable, so precious. You can go ahead and call it the universe but it feels like there was some kind of higher power at work to make it happen. Now it feels so right.”

Born on the second day of 2014, little Michael earns the distinction of being the first baby of the year born to parents living in San Juan County. It’s the second year in a row that San Juan County’s first baby was born on Jan. 2.

With Michael as the first baby of the year, the Coddington’s, who moved to Orcas from Colorado in 2008, are also this year’s winner of the Journal of the San Juan Island’s annual “Baby Derby.” The honor means that the family will receive $500 in gifts, prizes, and age-appropriate packages donated by 20 separate local retailers, merchants and businesses, also known as the “Baby Booty”.

In addition to a newborn son, James said the couple has been on the receiving end of a string of good fortune and countless “blessings” ever since the baby was conceived, on Easter, and they decided to “surrender to the universe”.

For example, James, a software designer and 3-D animator, said that he recently ran into a fellow islander who unexpectedly offered him a job in his field of expertise, one that may well help put the family in a better financial position for quite some time.

“He’s a bit magical,” James said of his baby boy. “He’s brought us an amazing amount of luck in so many different ways.”


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