first baby 2020

Travon Walker and Azaria McGill with their new daughter Azyla. (Photo by Mark Thornton)


Azaria McGill got a precious early birthday present — a newborn daughter on the first day of the new decade.

Azyla Walker came into the world at 8:37 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020. She and her mother were resting peacefully in their room at South Central Regional Medical Center early that afternoon. It may be the last bit of peace they get before going home. Walker has three little boys waiting for their baby sister’s homecoming.

“I hope having a little sister makes them take more responsibility,” McGill said, smiling as she looked down at the bundle cradled in her arms. “They are excited. My baby boy is so happy. He was just smiling.”

Tristen, 2, had a twin sister, Tramonte, after the two were delivered by emergency C-section in Jackson, but she died a few weeks later. McGill has two older sons — Jazayvion, 9, and Jayceion, 6.

Azyla was a couple weeks early, but the delivery by Dr. Ali Rashad went well, McGill said.

She drove herself to the hospital just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, a few hours after she’d seen the doctor for a checkup.

“I was hurting,” she said. “I knew it might be time.”

Not only was Azyla born on a lucky day, her weight has a lucky-sounding ring to it, too — 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 20 inches long.

McGill’s oldest brother Ladarren was also born on New Year’s Day and she turned 22 on Jan. 2. She is the daughter of Karen McGill and the late Michael Williams.

The baby’s father, 22-year-old Travon Walker of Laurel, was in the delivery room when she was born and he brought a special outfit for her to be photographed in. Azyla is his seventh child, he said.

“This is the only girl after all boys,” Walker said. “The feeling is unexplainable.”

He said Azyla “wasn’t crying at all” when she came into the world.

Walker and McGill went to Laurel High. She graduated in 2016 and he left after attending and playing football through his junior year. 

“I had to get a job,” he said with a chuckle.

Walker works at Sanderson Farms and McGill plans to get her cosmetology license.

“I was going to Freedom Nail School, but I didn’t get to finish,” she said. “I plan on going back.”

For the time-being, her hands will be full when she gets home, which was scheduled for Friday, she said. SCRMC gave her a large gift basket and the Leader-Call gave her a “Taste of Home Town” book and a one-year subscription to the paper.

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