The North Bend Eagle


Omaha's first baby of 2015 has Ames roots

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 1/7/15

Andrea Paseka and Steve Beck got married in August 2013 and were ready to start their family in 2015. They didn’t know they would make such a splash with their first child.

First baby of 2015The son of Andrea Paseka, a native of Ames, and Steve Beck was born at 12:06 a.m. Jan. 1, 2015.

Paseka, 31, grew up on the family farm five miles north of Ames and was a 2001 graduate of North Bend Central. She attended University of Nebraska - Lincoln earning a psychology degree in 2005. Paseka has worked at Professional Research Consultants in Omaha doing statistical analysis of health care data since graduation.

Beck, 30, grew up in Omaha, graduated from Iowa State, and works for OPPD as an engineer at the Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Generating Station.

They were keeping the pregnancy quiet, not even putting it on Facebook, and the due date was January 22. On New Year’s Eve around 8:45 p.m., as they were getting ready to go to some friends’ house to celebrate, Paseka felt her water break. She called her friend and former roommate, Sarah Sterns, who is in medical school in Kansas City, conveniently training to become an obstetrician. Her friend told her to either call her doctor or go to the hospital. Andrea did both. They grabbed a few items of clothing, fed the cats and took off for Methodist Women’s Hospital. Once there they learned that the baby’s feet were presenting first and it was too late to rotate him, a cesarean section was warranted.

Paseka called her parents, Don and Janis Paseka of Ames, at 10:45 p.m. to let them know what was happening.

“We, being old and boring, were going to bed even though it was New Year’s Eve,” Janis Paseka said. “We sure didn’t feel like sleeping after that call.”

Beck called the new grandparents at 1:40 a.m. and said that the baby was born, weighed 5 pounds and 12 ounces, and all was well.

“You might think they would have preferred to have the baby in 2014 for tax reasons,” Janis said. “But when the doctor asked Steve if they wanted it to be born before the new year, he said, quite wisely, that he didn’t want it to be a rush job and they should proceed normally. The baby was born at 12:06 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2015.”

The Ames Pasekas went to visit in the afternoon of New Year’s Day, not realizing anything more exciting than the birth of their first grandchild was happening.

“When we got there, we met Andrea’s friend Sarah, who told us we couldn’t see Andrea and Steve right away because they were ‘doing their interview,’” Janis said. “We soon learned that the baby was the first one born in Omaha in 2015, so all four TV stations and the Omaha World-Herald had people there to interview Andrea and Steve and get a look at the new baby.”

The public relations staff at the hospital told the family that the local news outlets like to report on the first baby of the year, every year, as a feel-good human interest piece.

“We just happened to win the lottery this year, so-to-speak,” Andrea said. “We were given the choice to talk to the media. Generally the benefits were: A) we did not need to announce the birth of our child to friends and family. The news media very effectively did that for us. And B) the huge amount of well-wishes received from family, friends, coworkers and other acquaintances.”

The Newborn Intensive Care Unit wasn’t letting anyone in who had not had a flu shot. Luckily the Pasekas had had theirs.

“I was amazed that Andrea could look so good just 14 hours after unexpected major surgery,” Janis said, “but she was up, showered, dressed and sounding lucid in the interview.”

The new family thought they had a few more weeks to pick out a name so did not have one picked out to tell the Omaha press. After a few days, they are now ready to announce it to Eagle readers. Welcome to the world, Simon Donald Beck.

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