First 2019 Williston baby born in the cold

The first Williston baby of 2019 seemed determined to take that title. As we told you last week, Declan Ryder Bellah was born outside in 23 degree weather. The fast and unconventional birth led to some complications for Declan.

Although she has four older boys, Sara Bellah, mother of Williston's first baby of the New Year, said that she was not prepared for Declan to come so fast.

"I walked out the door and down the steps to get into the car and had him. My contractions were still seven minutes apart. It was the farther apart they've ever been for me to have a baby. I made it to the apartment steps and just kind of dropped down and it was over and done with It was one push that had him out, and my husband was still pulling the car around at the time,” said Sara.

The door was locked to the apartment, so parents Sara and Ben wrapped baby Declan in a jacket while their four older boys let them inside so they could get out of the cold. The family went upstairs to bathtub to get cleaned up. Sara used skin on skin contact to bring their baby's temperature back up from being so cold.

Then they called the nurses at the hospital and they proceeded to walk dad through how to use a piece of string to tie umbilical cord.

Ben Bellah says that their family's calm demeanor about the situation is due to the fact that they grew up on a farm and raised their children on a farm.

"We have dealt with live births a lot, just not child birth; cows, pigs, what-not," said Ben.

The family says that once they got to the hospital, the staff was shocked because of the unusually quick birth. Baby Declan had breathing problems because of the fast birth, so three days later, they were flown to Minot for the weekend to get more advanced care.

Sara said, "He did really good once we got up there, and started getting off machines really quickly, and we got to come home Monday afternoon".

A pediatrician at St. Alexius Hospital in Williston, Dr. Stonehocker, said that being prepared is very important for new and experienced families because any pregnancy can have its complications.

"All babies are potentially at risk for fast breathing and rapid breathing as a transitional time that takes place when the baby is born," says Dr. Stonehocker.

He says this family is fortunate to have had such rapid recovery, stating that, "Any delivery like this, if the baby isn't doing well could have been dangerous if the baby wasn't healthy or wasn't growing the way that the child was supposed to in utero."

Declan's birth was one of many that are expected to take place this year in Williston. Saint Alexius hospital delivered 825 babies last year, averaging 60 births a month. Saint Alexius Hospital in Williston offers classes to help prepare expecting families. It offers bringing baby home, nurses who help with car seat safety and nursing issues, CPR and First Aid and Well-Child appointments. Sara Bellah says Declan no longer has breathing issues and is doing really well.