Kaycee Nelson had hoped to deliver on New Year’s Day since she was told her baby could come as early as Jan. 1. At 8:28 a.m. Sunday, Nelson got her wish as she and father Brandel Hodgins welcomed Khloe to their family.

“It’s kind of funny, because me and my sister were stuck on trying to have a New Year’s baby,” Nelson said.

With a due date of Jan. 21, Nelson said her sister, Kamie, told her to “just believe” in the possibility they had both sought because of the prestige that comes with having the first baby of the New Year.

“And it just happened,” 30-year-old Nelson said.

At 5 pounds, 1 ounce, Khloe Hodgins was born at the Wyoming Medical center where Nelson said “the shortest baby ever” was measured at just 17¼ inches.

Brandel Hodgins, 42, said the couple came to the hospital about 2 a.m. and were sent home two hours later before returning at 7 a.m. Sunday. Nelson should be able to return home by Tuesday and eventually plans to return to the A’Salt Creek Roller Girls.

“Kind of stopped short her roller derby career,” Hodgins said about the pregnancy.

In her first year playing for the team, Nelson and a childhood friend on the team were both pregnant at the same time and had the same due date. Nelson said she stopped competing in May after learning she was pregant but would like to return to roller derby.

“I loved it,” she said.

In naming her newborn, Nelson followed a family tradition of beginning names with the letter “K,” as she did for her first two children, Keadan Wagner, 10, and Keeley Nelson, 4. They, along with siblings Skylar Philo, 13, and Ally Hodgins, 11, made up the welcoming party in the hospital room Sunday.

“We’re just glad to have her,” Nelson said. “She may be tiny, but she’s healthy.”

Reach city reporter Kelly Byer at 307-266-0639 or kelly.byer@trib.com.

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