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Kearney's first babies of 2021 born at Good Samaritan, Kearney Regional
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Kearney's first babies of 2021 born at Good Samaritan, Kearney Regional


KEARNEY — The first babies of 2021 in Kearney may have been born nearly 12 hours apart, but they each weighed in the same at 7 pounds 15 ounces.

Jakxon Ruben Alexander Zimmerman was born at Kearney Regional Medical Center at 4:52 a.m. Friday to Dana Leal and Alexander Zimmerman of Kearney. At 20 ½ inches, he’s the couple’s first child.

Blane Wade Petersen was born at 4:48 p.m. Friday at CHI Health Good Samaritan to Bennett and Chelsey Petersen of Minden. He is 21-inches long and joins older brother Bowen, 6, and sisters Brynlee, 4 and Blair, 2.

Bowen knew he was getting a little brother, Chelsey said:

“We didn’t know ahead of time, and he’s known from the beginning it was a boy.”

Thursday, Dana had gone to a regular doctor appointment but had high blood pressure. She went home to pack a bag and returned to the hospital where she was induced.

Jakxon’s due date was Saturday.

“I actually thought I was going to go past my due date,” Dana said.

Jakxon is named after his dad and grandfathers.

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Blane’s due date wasn’t until Jan. 10. His middle name is after Chelsey’s father, Wade Hartman of Gibbon.

The Petersens were surprised when they arrived at CHI Friday that the New Years baby hadn’t been born.

“I couldn’t believe it when we got here yesterday and they hadn’t had a baby yet,” she said.

The new mothers differed when it came to COVID-19 concerns during their pregnancies.

Dana worried about contracting the virus and passing it onto her fetus, as well as the baby catching the virus. They plan to stay home for a while to play it safe.

The forecast worried the Petersens more than the virus.

“We were more worried about a blizzard than anything,” Chelsey said.

The virus did delay Blane from meeting his older siblings until he came home from the hospital. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, only Bennett was allowed in Chelsey’s room.


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