November 22, 2014

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Amherst couple gets early surprise as county’s first baby of the year is born

Xander, Lorain County’s first baby of 2013, is held by his father Tuesday at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain. He was born at 4:34 a.m. (CT photo by Ray Riedel.)

LORAIN — Amherst residents Michael and Tiffany didn’t spend New Year’s Eve watching the ball drop. Instead, they spent their night at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, awaiting the birth of their son, Xander.

Michael and Tiffany, who did not wish to provide their last name due to Tiffany’s job, said they were surprised when they were told that Xander, who was born at 4:34 a.m., was the first Lorain County baby born this year.

“I didn’t even really realize it until this morning,” Tiffany said.

“I was actually getting my epidural at midnight, and I could hear the nurses blowing their whistles and yelling, ‘Happy New Year.’ ”

Michael was nonchalant about the New Year’s birth.

“I guess it’s kind of cool,” he said. “But I’m happy that he’s a healthy, strong little boy.”

Staff at Mercy Regional Medical Center said it had been a slow night Monday, with few births. Tiffany, who was due Jan. 6, went into early labor Monday evening.

It was the fourth child for the couple, who have a 1-, 5- and 6-year-old child. The couple’s sons and daughter had not yet met new brother Xander on Tuesday afternoon.

“Our 5-year-old, she’s the motherly one,” Tiffany said. “I think she’ll be a big help.”

For the special birth, staff at Mercy Regional Medical Center awarded Michael and Tiffany with a baby basket of toys, clothes and other supplies. Nurses create the baskets and give them every year to the first baby born in the new year and the last baby born in the previous year, said a hospital spokeswoman.

Also receiving a basket were new parents Isaly Santana and Gabriel Mendez, who welcomed the birth of their first child, Yanell Mendez, at 2:19 p.m. Yanell was the last baby born at Mercy in 2012.

For Michael and Tiffany, who have a full house, Xander will be the couple’s last child. Tiffany said the children may have other ideas, however.

“The kids have told us that there’s room in our van for one more,” Tiffany said, laughing.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.