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Meet Siena Herrera, The 2020 First Baby Of Newtown



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Twice already in her very young life, Siena Herrera has made an entrance once she was ready, and not before.

The first was at birth. Her mother, Kathia Herrera, was induced on December 30, but it took well over 24 hours before doctors decided it was time to do a C-section.

One week later, she fussed as her mother was trying to dress her for her first newspaper appearance. As her mother dressed her on January 8 in an upstairs bathroom, Siena cried and fussed a little. Not very loudly. Just enough to let it be known that she was not pleased at being changed out of one adorable outfit, only to be put into another one.

Downstairs, waiting for her niece to appear, Raiza Arnone laughed and said, “She really doesn’t like being dressed. She’s so good. We really don’t even know she’s here more of the time, she’s so quiet.”

A few minutes later, mother and daughter did appear. After her birth documents were confirmed, Siena was officially named The Newtown Bee’s 2020 First Baby of Newtown.

Siena Rose Herrera was born at 2:19 am Wednesday, January 1.

The birth “went really well,” according to the new mother, once the procedure started. Ms Herrera had a few jitters — “I was a little nervous,” she admitted this week — but she was also ready for those moments.

“I was really excited to meet her,” she said. “I couldn’t wait to see her, to see what she’d look like. She’s perfect.”

Siena weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20 inches long at the time of her birth at the hospital in Mt Kisko, N.Y.

“I went there so that I could be between my siblings,” Ms Herrera said. “I wanted to give them the opportunity to visit.”

In addition to Ms Arnone, Ms Herrera has another sister, Yanil, and a brother, George. Ms Herrera currently lives in Newtown with her sister and brother-in-law, Raiza and Gary Arnone. Her other siblings live in New York.

Help From Others

Ms Herrera and Ms Arnone are part of Buy Nothing Newtown, the local Facebook group that is part of an international network of Buy Nothing chapters. As of this week there are groups in 16 countries, including each state in the US, with 84 groups in Connecticut alone. The group’s motto is “Buy Nothing. Give. Share. Build community.”

Groups encourage members to “give and receive, share, lend, and express gratitude through a worldwide network of micro-gift economies in which the true wealth is the web of connections formed between people who are real-life neighbors,” according to the description on the local Facebook page.

Ms Arnone describes the group as “created to promote giving and gratitude.”

Members can post wishes, said Ms Arnone, or if people have things to give away they can offer them as a gift.

“The group has been so generous,” Ms Arnone said.

When she responded to a post for the first time a few months ago, Ms Arnone mentioned that she was hoping to receive an item for her then-pregnant sister.

“Somebody posted something, and I said ‘I’d like that because my sister is living with me; she’s a single mom-to-be,’” Ms Arnone recalled. “And then from there people started reaching out and saying ‘I also have this. Do you want that? They started to offer so many things.”

As a result, Ms Herrera was gifted baby furniture, clothing, and a stroller, among other items.

“They’ve been very, very kind,” she said.

Ms Herrera moved into Newtown in the fall and doesn’t plan to leave any time soon.

“It’s a beautiful town,” she said Wednesday afternoon. “I absolutely love it. The people are really sweet here.”

The Prize Package

As has happened for the past 58 years, local merchants have donated prizes to be awarded to the family of the First Baby of Newtown.

This year’s prize package includes a $75 gift certificate for Anthony Mason Custom Gutter & Roofing; a gift certificate from Avancé Day Spa for a European facial; a $30 gift certificate from Barnwood Grill; dinner for two at Blue Colony Diner; ten movie passes from Edmond Town Hall; and a $25 gift certificate from Hero For Men Barbering.

Also, a one-hour personal training session for Kathia at Joanne’s Fitness Studio; a large cheese pizza from Franco’s Pizza & Pasta; a large cheese pizza from Lions Bleeker Street Pizza; a $25 gift card from Main Street Adventures; and breakfast at My Place Pizza & Restaurant.

Also, a $50 gift card from Newtown Hardware; a $25 starter account at Newtown Savings Bank; a $25 gift certificate from Newtown Color Center; a $25 gift certificate from Nick’s Catering; a large cheese pizza from Papa Al’s Pizza-Pasta-Subs; and a $25 gift certificate and laundry bag from PJ’s Laundromat.

Also, a $50 gift certificate from Ricci’s, a TIGI In Crowd Salon; a $25 gift certificate from Southbury Country Florist; a $50 gift certificate from Tambascio’s Italian Grill; a one-year subscription or extension to The Newtown Bee; a color and haircut at Thomas E. Salon; a $50 gift certificate from UK Gourmet; and a gift bottle of Roeder Estate Brut Champagne from Yankee Wine & Spirits.

Kathia Herrera snuggles with her daughter on January 8, a week after Siena was born. The newborn has been named The Newtown Bee’s 2020 First Baby of Newtown. —Bee Photo, Hicks
—Bee Photo, Hicks
The First Baby of Newtown 2020 will win for their family everything from baked goods and champagne to savings bonds, multiple dining opportunities, and even automotive services from two dozen local businesses.
Siena Rose Herrera was born just two hours and 19 minutes into 2020. —photo courtesy Raiza Arnone
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