Baby Derby winner 2017

Contributed photo/Joe and Ana Gamez The first baby of the year and his proud parents.

The first baby of the year arrived right on time on Jan. 3.

Gabriel Gamez greeted 2017 at the Mt. Vernon Birth Center at exactly 12:59 p.m. weighing 6.3 pounds and measuring 19 inches long.

San Juan Island residents Joe Gamez and his wife Ana welcomed their seventh child this year.

Their last baby came two weeks early, so they prepared to have Gabriel prematurely, but then he came into the world right on schedule.

The expectant parents took the red-eye ferry off island, went shopping and ordered lunch at noon. At 12:10 p.m., momma’s water broke and the baby arrived just 40 minutes later.

Joe is the Calvary San Juan lead pastor and transportation director for the school district.

Ana is a stay at home mom and homeschools two of their children.

“My wife has always known she wanted a large family,” he said. “We just love it.”

The family is made up of five boys and two girls, ages 14, 13, 11, nine, seven and four and a half.

Gamez described life as a big party with lots of sleepovers with brothers and sisters who have a tight bond.

“For Christmas, we had a full house and it was just us,” said Gamez.

As for being the parent of the first island baby of the year, the proud father calls it a huge blessing and a great way to begin 2017.

“It’s a great way to start the year, new and fresh,” said Gamez.


Contributed photo/Joe and Ana Gamez The Gomez family added its fifth boy on Jan. 3.