The Valley Dispatch
LOWELL-- While Boston hospitals reported a tie for the first baby of 2014 at 12:02 a.m., a Dracut family said they "clinched first place" with the newest addition to their family arriving at 12:01 a.m. in the Mill City.
Dante Joseph Tancredi, at 8 pounds and 4 ounces, wore a little blue and green beanie and made a few gurgling sounds as his parents, Jennifer and Carl Tancredi, spoke with reporters in their Lowell General Hospital room Wednesday afternoon.
Jennifer, a native of Tewksbury who graduated from Tewksbury High School in 1998, held her son in her arms. Her mother, Tewksbury resident Linda DeMaria, watched over. Carl Tancredi cracked open a bottle of champagne and clinked plastic cups with friends while the exhausted mother said she was thankful for her son's easy birth.
"Anytime a baby comes into the world, it's a blessing," she said. "He's happy and he's healthy and that's all you can ask for."
Dante is named after Carl Tancredi's grandfather, who raised Carl as a child beginning at the age of 9 when his father died, according to his mother, Merilyn Tancredi, who lives in Medford. Dante's middle name is for Jennifer's father, Joseph DeMaria, also of Tewksbury.
Carl Tancredi is a native of Medford who moved to Dracut with his family a few years ago -- he runs and operates Two Paisan's Pizzeria over in Malden.
Asked if Dante may go into the restaurant industry as well, Jennifer Tancredi laughed and joked, "I sure hope not." A family friend said they were hoping little Dante grew up to be a baseball superstar one day.
Jennifer Tancredi recounted her birthing story, explaining how she felt like she was going into labor on Monday. She went to Lowell General then but was sent home after being told she wasn't quite there yet. Then the contractions started coming stronger Tuesday afternoon, so the expecting mom arrived at the hospital at 3 p.m. on Dec. 31 -- her original due date. Dr. Minerva Domingo, of WomanHealth in North Chelmsford, was with her throughout the delivery.
Jennifer Tancredi added it was smooth sailing until just before midnight, when she became anxious for the last seconds of the New Year to run out.
"The nurses were saying, 'You're going to be it. You're going to be it," she recalled.
Carl Tancredi said he was hoping for a New Year's Eve kiss at the stroke of midnight as he assisted in the delivery room. He said the pair watched the ball drop in New York City on their television screen, and he bent over to give his wife a quick peck on the forehead.
"Three pushes later, he was here," he said. "She made a miracle in under a minute."
The couple said they were hoping to get out of the hospital by today to avoid the incoming nor'easter The Weather Channel named Hercules -- the first snowstorm for the area of the year. Jennifer Tancredi said after that, the family would be looking forward to settling Dante into his nursery, painted blue, and getting him better acquainted with his big sister.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday Boston Medical Center had their first baby at 12:02 a.m. named Belanov Bercier, while Mia Rodriguez arrived at Brigham and Women's Hospital at the same time.
Follow Samantha Allen on Twitter and Tout @SAllen_89.