“We almost didn’t get here in time,” said Lilah’s mother, Ilana Xinos. “We’ve never had a baby so we didn’t know the contractions were real contractions — we thought they’d send us home.”
That wasn’t the case, and a few hours after Ilana and Sean Flory arrived at Jamestown Regional Medical Center, Lilah was born at 8:25 p.m.
The parents, who live in Jamestown, said they were grateful for the mild weather on their way to the hospital and the easy delivery. Although it did catch them off guard as they had nothing packed for their stay at the hospital.
Sean even left his camera in the car, and rushed out of the delivery room to grab it moments before the birth.
“It’s probably been a decade since I ran that fast,” he said.
Ilana said he was panting as hard as she was when he returned with camera in hand.
The 6-pound, 8-ounce baby wasn’t due until Jan. 4. But the family’s doctor, Dr. Tonia Hoggarth, family practice physician at Medcenter One, was able to pick out the date months ago.
“Actually our first appointment with the doctor, Dr. Hoggarth, she predicted it,” Ilana said. “She said ‘Your baby is going to be our New Year’s baby,’ and she was right.”
Lilah didn’t open her eyes much Monday afternoon but Ilana swears that they look just like her father’s. So far she said the baby has behaved wonderfully.
As a new father Sean said he was pleased with being the dad of a baby girl born on New Year’s Day.
“We won’t be able to forget her birthday now,” he joked.
Lilah even received gifts from JRMC as the first baby of the year. They included diapers, wipes, clothes, a blanket and a stuffed animal. There was even a fruit basket for the new parents.
“They were so sweet,” Ilana said of the JRMC staff.
The parents, both English professors, spent parts of Tuesday surrounded by friends who were happy for the arrival of Lilah.
But the night before, they were the only couple in the JRMC’s Family BirthPlace.
“We were the only people in here — it was nice,” Ilana said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org