The first baby of the year at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital arrived at 5:25 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2.
Lillian Rose Hesseling was born to Lauren Cadwell, 39, and Luke Hesseling, 34. The happy couple had no idea their child was a candidate for first baby as the due date was Jan. 12.
Lillian joins a family that also includes older sister Baylee, 14.
“Mom and daughter are doing fabulous,” said Hesseling, who is a respiratory therapist at SLCH.
He said that so far Lillian is proving to be a good sleeper and a good-natured addition to the family.
“She’s very mild mannered. She doesn’t cry much. She squeaks like a mouse,” Hesseling said.
The infant was 7 pounds, 3 ounces at birth and measured 19-¼ inches. Pretty much perfect, mom and dad agreed.
Lillian is the first grandchild on the Hesseling side of the family. Neither Hesseling nor Cadwell were born in this area, but both are fortunate to now have multiple family members living in the state. Among them are his brother, Erik Hesseling, a deputy sheriff in Benton County.
Luke Hesseling was born and grew up in Neenah, Wisconsin, in an Army family. Cadwell was born in San Diego, California in a Navy family. Cadwell moved to the Lebanon and Sweet Home area as a child and has developed deep roots in the area.
“My dad was in the Navy for 23 years. I was born on the Naval base in San Diego. We all moved up here after my dad retired, so my immediate family is all within an hour and a half of each other,” Cadwell said.
Hesseling has lived all over the United States, moving with his family to Idaho and Virginia and later Eugene. After high school, he got a job with the United States Forest Service and worked as a wildfire fighter and medic for eight years, living in California and Colorado.
After suffering an injury, he was forced to find a new career and went through retraining to become a respiratory therapist. He has worked at SLCH for about two years.
Cadwell has worked as a caregiver for 20 years and has been at The Oaks in Lebanon for the past year. She thanked the management there for being so helpful during her pregnancy and looks forward to getting back to work as soon as possible.
“It’s a great facility, I love working there,” Cadwell said.
Hesseling said the experience of becoming a father exceeded all of his expectations.
“It feels amazing. Lauren and I would talk about unconditional love and I thought I knew what she was talking about. Once that little kiddo was born, the minute I held her in my arms, I didn’t even know I was crying. It’s indescribable,” Hesseling said. “I’ve always wanted a family, always wanted to have that extra something to make me and my life feel complete.”