Lyndon Jones III

Lyndon Jones III, the first baby born in Shiawassee County in 2021, is seen in this photo.

OWOSSO — When Sydnie Grinnell welcomed her second child into the world the evening of Jan. 2 at Memorial Healthcare, she didn’t think he would be Shiawassee County’s first baby born in 2021.

“I thought they already had at least a couple,” the 26-year-old Perry native said.

His father, Lyndon Jones II, however, had a feeling from the get-go.

“When we got there on the third floor, there was like nobody up there,” he said. “So, based off that I kind of figured we had a good shot. There was literally nobody on the floor at all.”

Sure enough, at 8:29 p.m. on the second day of the new year, Lyndon Fitzgerald Jones III (21 inches, 7 pounds, 12 ounces) became Shiawassee County’s newest resident — and proved dad’s gut feeling right.

“It’s pretty amazing actually; to have the first baby born in the new year is a pretty triumphant feeling,” Jones said. “I pretty much knew that I was going to have the New Year’s baby based off her due date, but nobody else believed me. So it was nice to prove everybody wrong for once.”

The couple also have another child, Denise, who is 17 months old. Grinnell works at Josh’s Frogs in Owosso, while Jones, 33, is a cook at Cafe Sports in Perry.

Grinnell and Jones have been together for nearly eight years. They first met while working at a restaurant called Rafferty’s in Jackson, Tennessee. Grinnell has family in Tennessee and at the time had moved down there with her cousin for a “change of scenery.”

Jones, a Bolivar, Tennessee native, said the pair immediately hit it off.

“This might sound cliche or cheesy, but in the movies when two people fall in love there’s normally like a golden beam of light and you get the (sound of) horns and (singing) ... that’s pretty much how it was when we first saw each other,” he said. “We normally don’t believe in love at first sight and that’s pretty much what it was. Once we met, it’s been a blast ever since.”

The birth of Lyndon Jones III didn’t go exactly as planned when the couple arrived at Memorial around 5 p.m. Jan. 2.

“I ended up having to be induced, and then within less than an hour of them starting that, they realized something wasn’t quite right and his heart rate kept going down and down,” Grinell said. “So we ended up have a C-section, which was not planned, like his sister.”

Jones said his son’s umbilical cord also wrapped around his neck twice, causing more concern. He said the experience was “humbling.”

“For us not not to be able to tell what’s going on inside her (womb) and for her to know or feel that something just wasn’t right and for her to have the gumption to say that she needs to go and that the baby needs to come out, it’s pretty amazing that she was able to put that together,” Jones said. “If we had waited any longer, I feared the worst would have happened. For her to get that feeling and just go with it, it is truly a blessing to have my son here today.”

Grinnell said the baby and family are doing just fine now.

“He’s good,” she said. “We’re exhausted. He’s chunky, he eats a whole little bottle already.”

For the honor of having Shiawassee’s first baby in 2021, Meijer donated a $200 gift card, and Memorial’s Family Birth Place gave a gift basket with a blanket, diapers, onesies, teether, lavender baby wash and cream.

“I was not here when the baby was born over the weekend, but was able to share my congratulations with the family before they left,” Lorna Quick, a registered nurse and the manager of the Family Birth Place, said via email. “They were very excited and grateful for the gifts and the care they received. I am always very appreciative of the Meijer donation every year to the family.”

Grinnell thanked the nurses and Memorial for their hospitality and generosity.

“A blessing for sure,” Grinnell said of the gifts. “We’re waiting on that stimulus like everyone else; we’ve been off of work for awhile.”

Jones said the family has already put much of the donations to good use.

“Just another blessing that we were able to receive to start off a great year,” he said. “We pretty much used everything that they put in the basket already. It was just nice to feel appreciated. It was really nice for them to put that together.”

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