It's a girl! Bennington welcomes Raya, the first baby of 2014


BENNINGTON -- The first baby born in Bennington County in 2014 is a girl named Raya Joeden Varney.

She was born at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center at 7:41 a.m. on Jan. 1 to Dakota Wilbur, 26, and Chad Varney, 33, of Greenwich, N.Y.

Wilbur said she had just left her house on Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. when her water broke.

She said she had been planning to have her daughter at SVMC and was working with the midwives there. "They are amazing," she said.

Raya was born weighing eight pounds, six ounces, and was 20 inches long.

"She's pretty darn happy," said Wilbur on Thursday as her daughter was being held by her 5-year-old son, Owen Brockway.

For now, baby Raya seems to be especially fond of sleeping.

Wilbur said she was happy that Raya is the first baby born locally, but also pleased her daughter was not the first born in the state as she did not want that much media attention.

She and her daughter are due to be released from SVMC on Saturday.

The family spoke to the Banner between waves of visiting relatives and friends, most of whom plan to be with them this weekend at their home.

Wilbur said they have a room set aside for Raya, and will soon be in the market for a house.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.


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