Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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January 3, 2014

IN WITH THE NEW

Kokomo's first babies of new year make debut

Two new Kokomo residents entered the world Wednesday.

Jacob Ryan Hambaugh was the first New Year’s baby, born at 5:47 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph Hospital. His mother, Leah Martin, father, John Hambaugh, and 4-year-old brother, James, welcomed him.

Weighing in at 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 19½ inches long, Jacob was smaller than his mother expected. He also came earlier than his Thursday due date.

“He had his own plans, I guess,” Martin said.

Martin’s contractions started Tuesday but stopped the first time she went to call the doctor. She headed to the mall, hoping some walking would restart the contractions. Her plan worked and Martin was admitted to the hospital before going into labor at 3 a.m. — about the same time as another woman there.

But Jacob earned the title of St. Joseph’s first baby of the new year. Martin said the other woman finally delivered her baby a few hours after Jacob was born.

Howard Community Regional Health birthing center saw its first baby of 2014 at 8:29 a.m. when Jaxson Hunter Cone was born to Laura and Phillip Cone. He is the great-grandchild of Punchy and Carol Cone.

Jaxson’s two older brothers, Wayland, 7, and Noland, 5, also greeted him.

Wayland was excited to hug and kiss his youngest brother, Phillip Cone said, though Noland was more reluctant at first to give up his title as the youngest.

“They’re about as excited as little boys can be,” Phillip Cone added with a laugh.

Jaxson — who was born at 9 pounds, 2 ounces and 20 inches long — was eager to make his entrance into the world. Laura’s water broke at 6 a.m. Jan. 1. She and Phillip rushed to the hospital and were there for a little more than an hour before Jaxson arrived.

“The third time’s easy, you know what to expect and you get through it,” Laura Cone said. “We’re excited and happy, very blessed. We’re very lucky to feel that instant, eternal love three times.”

The Cone family appreciated their care at Howard Community hospital.

“I want to thank the hospital, especially the birthing center nursing staff and Stacey (Spence), Kristen (Radford), Rachel (Dougdale) and Rhea (Petti),” Laura said.

Education reporter Lauren Fitch can be reached at 765-454-8587, by email at lauren.fitch@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @LaurenBFitch.

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