Cherry Point Marine Matthew Shortway was officially promoted to captain on New Year’s Day. But that was hardly the biggest news of the day in his life.
Shortway became a father of the first baby born in Craven County in 2013 when wife Lindsay delivered Levi Matthew Shortway at 4:42 p.m. Tuesday at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern.
The father assisted in the birth and was able to deliver the news to his wife that their new child was a boy.
The couple, married for six years and already parents to 2 1/2-year-old daughter Anna Elizabeth Shortway, was hoping for a boy, but decided to let the gender be a surprise, said Lindsay Shortway.
"We didn’t know with either child if it was a boy or girl and were really anxious, hoping first for a healthy child, but also hoping it would be a boy," she said. "There were tears of joy, and he looks like his daddy."
The 7-pound, 9-ounce, 21-inch-long boy born New Year’s will be called Levi, Shortway said.
"We picked Levi because Matthew in the Bible was named Levi first. His dad’s name is Matthew," she said.
CarolinaEast Delivery Room nurse Debbie Collins said it was "a beautiful delivery."
Shortway agreed that the delivery for baby No. 2 was "so much different; six hours total, really smooth."
His sister also was born at CarolinaEast, tying two knots to Craven County for the family scheduled to move to 29 Palms, Calif., in March.
Shortway said that when her daughter saw her new baby brother "she got really wide-eyed and said ‘I’m a big sister.’ She wanted to hold him right away and give him a kiss."
Levi’s mother is originally from Gouverneur, N.Y., about two hours north of Syracuse, "almost in Canada," she said. Matthew Shortway, a Marine Corps air support officer, is from Vernon, N.J.
"My husband and I both graduated from Clarkson University in New York," said Shortway, who works from home as a data analyst. "I started working for Boeing Corporation in Seattle and was able to keep my job and travel with my husband."
In addition to the media photographs, little Levi also has already been photographed by Mom, whose hobby is photography. She shoots with a Canon digital SR camera and often does "families and children pictures on the side."
Shortway said she thinks the family is made now.
"We feel very blessed to have one of each," she said. "For now, we’re happy with two. We also have two dogs. Good things come in twos."
She has simple hopes for her New Year’s baby.
"I hope all his dreams come true, that he goes after everything he wants in life, and that he looks out for his big sister," she said.