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Parents Receive Perfect Christmas Gift

A baby boy, born two weeks before his due date on Dec. 25, seems like a Christmas miracle for parents Dominic and Tabitha DeLillo and their five-year-old daughter, Annalise.

Photo Credit: Brianna DeLillo

Jaxon Sonny DeLillo was born Christmas afternoon at 4:13 in Penn State Health St. Joseph’s Breidegam Family Birthing Center, and is now at home with his parents and sister in Windsor Township.

“It’s the same day that Jesus was born,” Dominic marveled a week and a half after Jaxon’s birth. “He just seems like a Christmas miracle.”

Tabitha, who after being admitted to Penn State Health St. Joseph early Christmas morning had other things to think about than the date of the birth, was equally pleased that Jaxon arrived when he did.

Tabitha had learned several weeks prior to delivering that doctors did not expect she would carry the baby until its due date, as her cervix had already begun to dilate. Still, she was surprised when, very early on Christmas morning, there were indicators that Jaxon might be on his way.

“She woke me up around 4 o’clock,” Dominic said. “I looked at her and said, ‘you’re kidding, right?’ because I’d just gone to bed two hours before that. I was up getting the gifts ready and making sauce for my lasagna the next day.”

Tabitha, however, was not kidding, and, in a light snow, they arrived at the hospital at about 6 a.m.

Once Tabitha was settled and comfortable, Dominic returned home to open some presents with Annalise and to prepare two pans of lasagna. One was for his father, and the other was for doctors and nurses on duty at Penn State Health St. Joseph.

“Tabitha worked in the nursing field and had to work on holidays, so she knew what it would be like being at the hospital on Christmas,” Dominic explained. “So I put together a full tray, and I think that everybody appreciated it.”

Dominic returned to the birthing center with plenty of time to spare, and waited with Tabitha until the baby was born.

“At one point we weren’t sure he was going to be born that day,” Tabitha recalled. “The midwife wasn’t sure if my water had broken, and the contractions I was having weren’t that strong.”

Once the contraction started in earnest, however, it was a very short time until Jaxon was born.

“It went really fast at the end,” Tabitha said. “Once I really started dilating, it was only about 20 minutes until he was born.”

In addition to the timing of Jaxon’s birth, his parents discovered some other bits of information that made them smile. When they got home and compared the information cards staff members had recorded for Annalise and Jaxon, they realized that both babies had been born at nearly the exact same time in the same room.

And, during the earliest hours of each child’s lives, they received care from the same physician, Dr. Mary Ann Mancano, a pediatric hospitalist.
“That was really neat to find out,” Dominic said. “It seemed a little bit like we had come full circle.”

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