Oh baby! Carley Raye region's first newborn of 2018


Jessica Lawrence and Carlton Williams are shown with their daughter, Carley Raye Williams, the first baby born in the Albemarle in 2018. Carley Raye was born on Jan. 1 at Vidant Chowan Hospital in Edenton.


By Rebecca Bunch
Chowan Herald

Thursday, January 4, 2018

EDENTON — Carley Raye Williams was born at exactly 10:47 a.m. Monday at Vidant Chowan Hospital, making her the Albemarle’s New Year’s Baby for 2018.

Carley Raye, who came into the world 6 pounds, 10 ounces and 19 ¾ inches long, is the daughter of proud parents Jessica Lawrence and Carlton Williams of Plymouth.

Lawrence, 35, said Carley Raye was originally due in February. However, because Lawrence’s blood pressure was high during a doctor’s appointment last week, and because she had developed gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, she and her doctor decided she should go ahead and try to give birth prior to Carley Raye’s due date. 

“I left my doctor's office and came straight to the hospital,” Lawrence said.

By then Lawrence was experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions. Her physician, Dr. Peter Boehling, told her he thought she might give birth to Carley Raye on Sunday. But Carley Raye apparently had other plans.

Lawrence said she’s happy her little girl was born on Monday, giving her the honor of being the region’s first baby born in 2018.

Both Lawrence and her fiance praised the care they and their baby received from Boehling and members of the Vidant medical team, describing it as “outstanding.” 

“Look how quiet she is,” Carlton Williams said as he cradled his sleeping baby daughter in his arms. “Isn't she a good baby?”

Carley Raye is Lawrence's second child. She has another daughter, Bryanna Lawrence, who will turn 16 on Thursday. Lawrence said she plans to pursue medical training as a phlebotomist and would like to work for the American Red Cross.

Willliams, who works for the Roberts Company in Winterville, has three older daughters — Ashley, 27; O'Nesha, 23; and Lakedra, 22. He is an avid fisherman and an ironworker who has worked on the construction of several bridges in the area.

As the parents of the first baby born in Chowan County in 2018, the couple received two baskets full of baby supplies, toys, gift cards and other items donated by Edenton merchants and the Edenton-Chowan Chamber of Commerce, the Vidant Chowan Hospital Birthing Center, Chowan Hospital Foundation and Marketing Department, and the Perfect Prescription Gift Shop at the hospital.