first baby

Josiah Helmandollar, newborn son of Loretta and Jeff Helmandollar of Malad, Idaho, was the first baby born at Bear River Valley Hospital in 2021. Josiah came into the world weighing 5 pounds, 11 ounces.

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Last year, the first baby born at Bear River Valley Hospital didn’t arrive until Jan. 6.

Josiah Helmandollar wasn’t waiting that long.

Mother Loretta Helmandollar was due to give birth on Jan. 7, but her doctor didn’t think she could wait that long, so Loretta had an appointment for induced labor on Jan. 1.

Turns out the doctor was right. Her water broke on the drive from their home in Malad, Idaho to the appointment, and after a relatively short labor, baby Josiah came into the world at 4:16 p.m. on the first day of the New Year, weighing in at 5 pounds, 11 ounces.

“It all worked out fine,” Loretta said.

Jeff and Loretta Hellmandor and their older children, 7-year old son Wesley and 2-year-old daughter Genesis, now have another bundle of joy to brighten their lives.

Loretta said Wesley “loves him to death.

“He asks multiple times a day if he can feed and burp and snuggle and hold him,” she said.

As for Genesis, “she’s doing good about it,” Loretta said. “There are some ups and downs sometimes with a two-year-old that still thinks she’s the baby of the family, some of that sibling jealousy.”

She said this one was more painful than her previous times giving birth, but not because of complications.

“I wanted for myself to do it all natural with no epidural, just to prove to myself that I could do it,” Loretta said, “just to see how they did it in the olden days. I accomplished one of my goals in life, but couldn’t do it without the hospital staff and my husband being there.”

In describing the experience of giving a natural birth, she said she would do it again.

“For the minimal amount of time I was in pain, the pain only came with the contractions, and that minute of pain is worth it in the end. When you get to that point, you can’t stop it and your body takes over and does what it’s supposed to do.

“It’s definitely worth it. We all just can’t get enough of him.”

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