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Saint Clare's Health's First 2017 Christmas Baby Receives Special Gift from Christmas Birthday Buddy

Family with New Baby Born on Christmas

Photo Caption: left to right: Daniel Patrick Stauss poses with his new blanket and hat with his father and mother, Ryan and Melissa Stauss, and Susanne Lachenauer, his Christmas birthday buddy.

December 27, 2017 (Denville, NJ) -- Saint Clare’s Health welcomed Daniel Patrick Stauss to the world at 1:53 a.m. on December 25. The son of Melissa and Ryan Stauss of Wantage, Daniel was the first “Christmas baby” born at Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital’s Katena Center for Mother & Child in 2017! Little did he and his parents know that a special surprise gift was waiting -- a beautiful hand-crocheted blanket and hat – made by self-proclaimed “Christmas baby birthday buddy,” Susanne Lachenauer of Landing.

“When I was born as a Christmas baby, someone gave me a very special handmade Christmas stocking, which I treasured for many years,” said Ms. Lachenauer. “This year, I decided that I would carry on the tradition. Since I like to crochet, I decided to craft my own special gifts for the first Christmas baby at Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital, my own community hospital.”

This holiday story became even more interesting with the discovery that Susanne Lachenauer has an older sister with the same birthday as Daniel’s two-year-old brother.

Plus, there are even more coincidences, twists and turns that seemed to put Daniel on track to cross paths with Ms. Lachenauer.

“We and some of our other family members had several dreams about Daniel arriving on Christmas,” stated Mrs. Stauss. “I went into labor around midnight. Everything happened fast.”

“We started off driving toward a different hospital but ended up calling and meeting Jefferson Township Rescue Squad on the way. We were grateful to arrive at Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital very quickly,” added Mr. Stauss.

“The care at Saint Clare’s was superb. The nurses paid attention to my specific needs. They were very helpful and personable. Care was provided around-the-clock; I received the same quick response whether I needed something at 3 a.m. or 9 a.m. In addition to supporting me with the physical demands of labor and recovery, they supported me with the mental aspects of giving birth. It was a huge transition for me and the emotional support meant a lot. I also appreciated that Dr. (Andrei) Buna stepped in. Even though I was not his regular patient he was very responsive and fulfilled our personal requests for the delivery,” said Mrs. Stauss.

“We congratulate the Stauss family on Daniel’s arrival! We were honored to have helped Ms. Lachenauer’s facilitate her special tradition,” stated Brian Finestein, CEO of Saint Clare’s Health.