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Ivy Kathleen Jeanfaivre, Newtown’s First Baby Of 2021, Gives Family ‘A Special Place In The History Books’



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Ivy Kathleen Jeanfaivre has been named Newtown’s First Baby of 2021.

The third child of Callie and Gary Jeanfaivre of Newtown, she was born at 10:41 am, Thursday, January 7, at St Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport.

At birth, Ivy weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20.5 inches tall.

The Jeanfaivre (pronounced “jean-favor”) family sat down via Zoom this week to talk about their newest addition and her special honor.

Ivy is the younger sister of Emmett, 9, and Isabelle, 7. Both are students at Head O’ Meadow Elementary School. While Emmett did not have much to say about his new sister, Isabelle offered a big thumbs up when asked about her.

The center of attention during the call Tuesday evening slept through everything. Having been to the doctor earlier, Ivy was sound asleep in her car seat. Her parents, siblings, and Ziggy, one of the Jeanfaivre family’s dogs, were gathered around a couch next to the five-day-old baby.

“A new baby, what’s better than that?” Gary Jeanfaivre said. “Pure innocence, joy, wonder, and possibility.”

There were no medical challenges during Ivy’s birth, her parents said. The big changes this time, versus the first two births, “was the reality of being in a pandemic” during the pregnancy and birth, Gary said.

Gary was unable to attend the checkups with Callie, they noted.

“In the past, that was something I always did with her,” he said. “When it was time for baby to come, I could stay with her, but there were no visitors.”

Emmett and Isabelle met their baby sister for the first time over Facetime.

“We were lucky to have Callie’s mom come and stay with the kids for a few days,” he said.

One thing that remains the same, the parents said, is listening to everything their doctor tells them to do to keep their new child and entire family safe and healthy.

Ivy’s first name was a favorite choice for both parents. Her middle name, however, has significance in that it honors her late paternal grandmother.

“She is named after Gary’s mom, who passed away two years ago,” Callie shared. “So that is very special to us.”

“We wanted to have a way for her be a part of her even though she’s not here,” Gary added.

Ivy’s maternal grandparents are Dawn Altomaro and Robert Keppler of Fairfield; and Peter and Patty Altomaro of Alpharetta, Ga. Her maternal great-grandparents are Janet Altomaro of Stamford, and Sophie Robie of Raleigh, N.C.

Her paternal grandfather is Gary Jeanfaivre, Sr, of Sebring, Fla., and her paternal great-grandparents are Laura Hewitt of Sandy Hook, and Ruth Jeanfaivre of Sebring, Fla.

The Jeanfaivres did not know the sex of their third child ahead of her birth. Callie was convinced, in fact, that she was carrying a boy.

“Just the way I was carrying, I thought I looked the way I did when I had Emmett,” she said. “But that goes to show you, you can’t always go by that,” she added, laughing. “The entire family banked on it being a boy.

“We were shocked when the baby came out,” she said. “Absolutely shocked.”

“It was such a wonderful surprise,” Gary quickly added. “Life is full of surprises, but there are very few you can actually control.”

In addition to being named the 63rd annual First Baby of Newtown, Ivy has won her family a gift-filled prize package. While her parents are excited about the prizes, they said there were tickled with the tradition their family is now part of.

“It’s really exciting to become part of that tradition,” Gary said Tuesday evening. “I think it’s really cool that The Bee does this every year.

“We love this town, we love this community, and it’s neat for Ivy to give us a special place in the history books.”

The Prize Package

As has happened for the past 62 years, local merchants have donated prizes to be awarded to the family of the First Baby of Newtown.

This year’s package includes a gift certificate for Anthony Mason Custom Gutter & Roofing for a free gutter cleaning; a gift certificate from Avancé Day Spa for a European facial; a $30 gift certificate from Barnwood Grill; a baby-themed gift basket valued at $19.99 and a $50 gift card from BD Provisions; dinner for two at Blue Colony Diner; and a $25 gift certificate from Hero For Men Barbering.

There’s also a one-hour personal training session at Joanne’s Fitness Studio; a large cheese pizza from Franco’s Pizza & Pasta; a large cheese pizza from Lions Bleeker Street Pizza; and a $50 gift card from My Place Pizza & Restaurant.

In addition, the package contains a $100 gift card from Newtown Hardware; a $25 starter account at Newtown Savings Bank; 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.

A four-pack of beer for the parents, from Reverie Brewing Co; a $50 gift certificate from Ricci’s Salon; a $50 gift certificate from Tambascio’s Italian Grill; a one-year subscription or extension to The Newtown Bee; a $100 gift certificate from Steven Nicole Salon; 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 round out the gifts from local business owners.

Newtown’s First Baby of 2021, Ivy Kathleen Jeanfaivre is surrounded by her family. Clockwise from left are Isabelle, Callie, Gary, and Emmett. —photos courtesy Gary Jeanfaivre
Despite being born three days after her expected due date, Ivy Jeanfaivre has still captured the title of Newtown’s First Baby of 2021. —photo courtesy Gary Jeanfaivre
The First Baby of Newtown 2021 has won for her family everything from champagne and dining opportunities to savings bonds, salon visits, and even fitness and home services from nearly two dozen local businesses.
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