Summer Amireh and Ahmad Itani are pictured with their baby, Dean Itani, who was the first person born at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital this year.

Summer Amireh and Ahmad Itani are pictured with their baby, Dean Itani, who was the first person born at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital this year.

Photo provided by Amy P. Strauss


Couple shares details of first baby born in 2021 at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published January 24, 2021

 Dean Itani was the first baby born in the new year at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. Itani was born at 1:04 a.m. Jan. 1.

Dean Itani was the first baby born in the new year at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. Itani was born at 1:04 a.m. Jan. 1.

Photo provided by Amy P. Strauss

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — The first baby born in 2021 at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital came at 1:04 am Jan. 1.

Despite not being expected until Jan. 8, Dean Itani made his world debut a week early, which came as a “pleasant surprise” to his mom, Summer Amireh, a resident of Northville.

Dean’s birth weight was 7 pounds, 12 ounces.

Amireh said he is “doing really well.”

There is nothing quite like a parent welcoming a new baby into the world, which is something Amireh and her husband, Ahmad Itani, have now experienced three times.

“It made me forget about everything else,” Amireh said. “I just looked at him, like, ‘You are extremely special.’ We were so happy. And we were happy for our nurse and the staff, too. They were really excited.”

Amireh found out while she was in labor that two other women at the hospital were also in labor.

At that point, it was on.

“It was like a friendly competition, and I started getting excited,” Amireh said.

That information also brought out the competitive side of Itani, who is a cardiac and transplant anesthesiologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

“We were happy that we won,” he said. “I was egging my wife on, like, ‘Let’s do this, come on.’ … Everything worked out. We’re so thankful and happy that everybody’s healthy.”

Amireh’s mom was in Florida rooting for a New Year’s baby, as her birthday is also Jan. 1.

“My family’s in Florida,” Amireh said. “They started singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her and to him as soon as we texted. It makes him that much more special.”

The labor process started Dec. 31, and Itani thought the baby would come before the new year.

“But he made it to the 1st — it’s his grandma’s birthday, and we won the competition,” he said. “It was a nice way to bring in the new year.”

Having a baby on New Year’s Day can be as good a way as any to symbolize a fresh start.

“We don’t want this baby to be attached to 2020,” Itani said. “We can move onto new things and get on with our lives after this whole COVID thing, and pandemic. Hopefully, we can get back to normal as soon as possible. It was kind (of) like hope for us to move on.”

After having two children, ages 2 and 4, Amireh was familiar with the birthing process. But going through it in an age of COVID was a unique experience.

“I delivered with a mask on,” she said. “I never thought that would happen. Everybody who was coming in was double-masked; they had a shield. … Dealing with the baby was minimal, unless he had to get examined. So, totally different than the first two.”

Amireh said having the baby enter the world healthy was “extremely relieving.”

“You think about COVID, think about your other two kids; you think about your health,” she said. “I had to go through several ultrasounds. They kept telling me he was way bigger than he should’ve been. Eventually, he kind of evened out, for lack of better words. … But then, when he was born, he was fine, thank God. That was a little bit nerve-wracking.”

Aside from mom and dad, having a baby in the home has also shaken things up for the couple’s 2-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl.

“They love him,” Amireh said. “They think he’s a doll. They keep petting him. … My 2-year-old thinks he’s a cat. He keeps telling him, ‘Nice.’”

Amireh said Dean’s name was picked out about five months into the pregnancy and was shared with family.

From her perspective, it’s kind of like a “celebrity name.”

Itani discussed what life has been like since Dean’s arrival.

“It’s been wild having three kids,” he said. “We’re trying to take it all in and be thankful for what we have. … It’s been a crazy year, so far.”

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