Tyler and Sarah Hargis recently spent a few extra days at Schneck Medical Center in Seymour.

On Dec. 30, Tyler was admitted into the hospital after having asthma-related issues.

“I have real bad asthma, and the weather was just tearing me up, and I had a chest cold,” the 19-year-old said.

While he and his wife were sitting in his room on the third floor, Sarah, also 19, began having contractions, so she was taken up to the fifth floor.

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At 7:35 a.m. Sunday, Elijah Michael Hargis was born, weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces and measuring 20½ inches long. He was the first baby born at Schneck in 2017.

Tyler made sure he was there to witness the birth of his first child.

“When he was born, I was standing there with my own (hospital) bracelet, and I had an IV in my arm,” he said. “He was born up here, and a couple hours later, I was going downstairs to get discharged. I definitely didn’t expect to come home with a baby.”

As the couple planned to return to their home a couple of blocks from the hospital Wednesday, they were happy to report everyone was happy and healthy.

“He’s adorable,” Tyler said of Elijah.

“He’s perfect,” Sarah added.

Sarah said when she found out she was pregnant, she and Tyler wanted to know the gender of their first child.

“I found out as soon as I could,” she said. “My husband wanted a girl, but I didn’t have a preference.”

At the time, she had never thought about having a New Year’s baby. He was expected to arrive around Jan. 9, but Sarah was induced on New Year’s Eve.

“I just thought they were the Braxton Hicks false contractions, and they ended up being real contractions,” Sarah said. “I ended up being induced because of my blood pressure. I was only in labor for seven hours. They predicted at least 12, but I was only for seven, so that was a plus.”

Sarah was glad to have a smooth pregnancy.

“I’m actually glad he came early because I was way, way excited to have him,” she said. “I had an extremely easy pregnancy, too. I didn’t have any problems out of it. I didn’t get very big with him, either.”

Sarah said Elijah wound up a little bigger than she expected.

“They predicted he was only going to be 6 pounds, 9 ounces, but he ended up being a little bigger,” she said. “He has some big feet for a baby. That was the first thing I said when they put him on me is, ‘Look at his feet.’”

Joining Tyler in the delivery room were his father, Mike Hargis, and grandmother, Donna Bensheimer, both of Seymour.

“My mom was supposed to be here, but she lives in Tennessee, so she didn’t get to quite make it,” Sarah said.

Several other family members have visited the couple’s room on the fifth floor since Sunday.

“I was actually having people in within two hours after having him because I had to go through that first hour of mommy and me time. Then I was up moving around, too,” Sarah said. “I’ve had a lot of visitors, and I’m very, very protective over who comes and holds him.”

Sarah and Tyler have received a lot of comments about their newborn.

“They said he has his dad’s nose and has my complexion,” Sarah said.

So far, the couple are happy to report Elijah has been a well-behaved baby.

“He’s a really, really good baby,” Sarah said. “He sleeps through the night really well. He doesn’t really cry that often.”

The only thing he has objected to a little bit is clothing.

“As long as he has a diaper on and sometimes he’s OK with a blanket on him, but he doesn’t really like clothes,” Sarah said.

Tyler said it would be great if Elijah maintains that calm demeanor.

“Fingers crossed,” he said. “My mom said, ‘Before you know it, he’s going to be a teenager.’ I said, ‘I just hope he skips that part.’”

Besides being new parents, Tyler and Sarah also are newlyweds. On Aug. 1, the five-year anniversary of when they first met, Tyler’s cousin’s father married them at a family member’s home.

“He used to be in the military, and he got his minister license,” Sarah said.

Sarah said she was fortunate to receive a lot of items for her newborn at a baby shower in late October.

“The last thing we got was a car seat, and that’s because (Tyler’s) aunt wanted to buy it for us,” Sarah said.

Tyler recently spent a couple of days fixing their house to make sure everything was ready for their new baby.

“My husband said he didn’t realize how unprepared he was until he got here (to the hospital),” Sarah said. “It’s like everything is hitting him at once. He’s like, ‘I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to do this.’ I’m trying to get him to just calm down and relax.”

Sarah said it will be easy for the family to remember the date of Elijah’s birth.

They already do a lot of celebrating in the first two months of each year.

“There’s a lot of January birthdays within both of our families. Both of us together, there are probably about nine or 10,” Sarah said. “There’s even more between our families in February. Like half of my family was born in February.”

Tyler celebrates his birthday Feb. 12, while Sarah’s birthday is Feb. 18.

“After a year of being together, we kind of just pushed our birthdays together and just celebrated it on one day,” Sarah said. “It’s a lot easier than celebrating two birthdays in six days. Then I’ve got my cousin’s right between me and his birthday, so that’s another thing.”

In terms of having a New Year’s baby, Sarah said a couple of her friends in surrounding counties had babies on Jan. 1 in other years.

She said giving birth to Elijah was a great way to kick off 2017.

“It couldn’t have started any better for me,” she said. “I’m very excited. It’s definitely awesome to know that he’s the special New Year’s baby.”

At a glance

Jackson County’s first baby born in 2017

Name: Elijah Michael Hargis

Born: 7:35 a.m. Sunday (New Year’s Day)

Size: 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 20½ inches long

Parents: Tyler and Sarah Hargis of Seymour

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at zspicer@tribtown.com or 812-523-7080.