OAK LAWN, IL — Little Maverick Franco was the first announced baby from the Chicago area to be born in the new year. Maverick entered the world at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1, 2021, at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
He is the son of Marlon and Kratia Franco and has six older siblings waiting to meet him at home in Crete. Maverick weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces at delivery, and measured 20 inches long.
Maverick held his first news conference New Year's Day afternoon at Advocate Christ. His mom came up with the name Maverick from watching Eva Marcille on VH1’s “America’s Next Top Model.”
“I’m just in shock,” mom Kratia said. “My jaw is just dropped right now.”
Kratia was sure Maverick would be born on the last day of 2020. Once her doctor arrived, the birth team at Advocate Christ were rooting for a New Year’s baby.
“Once I got into active labor that’s when I got super excited to kind of hold out,” Kratia said. “My doctor was being very funny in between pushes [saying] to hold out until [January 1].”
When she found out she was pregnant last spring, Kratia admitted to “not being the happiest.”
“I battled my emotions for a little while and I prayed on it,” she said. “Eventually I started enjoying the pregnancy and accepted it for what it is.”
The couple’s sons all have first names beginning with the letter “M” including Marlon Jr., Mason,
Major, Messiah and now Maverick. Their daughters have “J” names, Jayla and Jade. While mom was in the hospital on Thursday, they continually texted and Facetimed her, asking if the baby had arrived yet.
Kratia called Maverick “a little busy body” who gave mom a lot of movement during the pregnancy. His name means “strong” and “independent.”
“He’s a good baby so far,” she added. “He’s very peaceful, he wants to sleep.”
Maverick’s older sisters and brothers, who range in age from 14 to a 2-year-old “who is terrorizing the house,” weren’t able to visit their mom at the hospital because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“He’s getting into a big family,” Kratia said. “They can’t wait for me to bring him home.”