Yvonne Kennedy, 21, West Valley City, presented Salt Lake County with the first baby of the new year, a son, Nicholas, born at 12:15 a.m. Sunday at the FHP Birthing Suite, 1525 W. 21st South.

A host of merchants have donated a cascade of prizes for the county's first child of 1989, from shoes and food to a season's pass at Raging Waters for the parents. But the mother said she wasn't even thinking about gifts when she went into labor Saturday night.She was surprised when reporters and news cameramen came to her room at the FHP facility to interview her and take pictures of her baby. She said she had expected the baby earlier and even considered the possibility the child might be born at Christmas.

As the days went by, she became a little apprehensive and Saturday night, when the baby finally started to arrive, she was relieved, she said.

"I'm so happy about the baby," she told her sister, Chris Colaizzi, who came to the birthing suite about 2 p.m. Sunday. Colaizzi said she was concerned because her sister had not been released about noon.

"When I got to my sister's room, she told me about all the news reporters and television and news cameras. She was really pleased her baby was the first one in the new year."

Young Nicholas, whose father is Todd Izatt, weighed six pounds and eight ounces and was 181/2 inches long. The child was born naturally through the Lamaze method, without any pain medication, nurses said. A certified nurse and midwife, Diana Peterson, assisted the mother.

Nurses said the mother started labor about 6 p.m. and came to the birthing suite at 8 p.m. The two left the facility at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and went to their apartment at 4637 S. 48th West.

The parents, both woodcutters for a West Valley City wood mill, have another son, Christopher, 4.

Merchants participating in the First Salt Lake County Baby of the Year contest and the prizes they have donated include Shopko, $50 gift certificate; Allied, $25 gift certificate; Little Caesars Pizza, a year's supply of pizza; Farrs Jewelry, $20 gift certificate; Dick & Jane Shop, Renzo shawl from Italy; and Foodtown, one case of diapers.

Pioneer A-1 Moving, $49.50 worth of moving; Strawberry Patch, $20 gift certificate; Dominos Pizza, a year's supply of pizza; Smith's Food King, $25 gift certificate; Nutri/System, free 25-pound program; Baby Boutique, $50 off any crib purchase; Albertsons, $25 gift certificate; Heaven Sent Baby Boutique, $25 gift certificate; and Freckles & Frills, $25 gift certificate.

Murray Theater, annual pass for parents; Artistic Images, mother/baby photo session; Granite Furniture, $50 gift certificate; Brown Floral, floral arrangement in a basket; Blackett Computer, $90 in computer Easy Educational software; University of Utah, two gymnastic tickets for Utah State vs. Iowa; and Imperial Diaper Service, four weeks free diaper service.

Sent-Metal, one free baby shoe bronzing; Rock-a-Bye, Small Talk baby diary; the Philadelphian, lunch for parents; Good Earth Natural Food, $25 gift certificate; Stevens Skin Care, $50 worth of products; Screenplay Video, movie tape of Cinderella; Just Kids, one pair of shoes; Dress to the Nines, monthly gift certificate; and Camera Den, $30 gift certificate.