First baby starts 2021 off right for local family

By Sarah Brown
Lebanon Local

Lillian Rose Hesseling entered the world as Lebanon’s first baby born in 2021 on Saturday, Jan. 2, at 5:25 p.m.
She weighed seven pounds, three ounces, at 19.25 inches.
Parents Lauren Cadwell and Luke Hesseling said they didn’t expect their daughter to arrive for another 10 days, and were surprised to find out she was the first baby of the year at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital.
Feeling confident the hospital would keep her new baby safe from the COVID pandemic, Cadwell was still disappointed she couldn’t have family with her during the birth, she said.
“It was rough not to have my (other) daughter there, not to have my family there supporting me. It’s one of the scariest times of your life and you don’t get to have anybody around you to help you,” she said.
Hesseling works as a respiratory therapist at the hospital and was on the night shift when he received a text from Cadwell that their baby was on the way. Lillian Rose was born 14 hours later.
She is Cadwell’s second child and Hesseling’s first.
“I can’t even describe it,” Hesseling said. “It’s such an amazing, blissful, yet scary experience all wrapped into one, with so many other different feelings and emotions.”
Cadwell’s other daughter, Baylee Williams, is 14.
When Hesseling and Cadwell held a gender reveal party last year for friends and family, they put out a suggestion box with blue and pink sticky notes for name ideas.
On one pink paper, Hesseling’s dad wrote Lillian. On a separate pink paper, his parents wrote Rose, which is the name of Luke’s paternal great-grandmother’s first name and his maternal grandmother’s middle name.
When Cadwell read the names back to back, she instantly liked it, and that’s how Lillian Rose got her name.
Hesseling was born and raised in a small farming town in Wisconsin. He has lived all over the U.S., working in structure and, later, wildland fire. He would rappel out of helicopters to fight fires, and also worked as a medic.
The 34-year-old was forced to change careers after sustaining a back injury, so he returned to school to learn respiratory therapy, and was hired at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital 2½ years ago.
Cadwell, 39, was born on the Naval base in San Diego. When her dad retired, he moved the family to Oregon, where Cadwell was raised. She works as a caregiver at The Oaks at Lebanon.
Hesseling and Cadwell met when a mutual friend set them up, essentially, on a blind date, Hesseling said.
“We definitely hit it off. We have so much in common,” he said.
The couple have plans to marry, but right now they’re adjusting to life with a newborn during COVID.
“You want to have a big party and have everybody over and celebrate this brand new life that’s come in and joined my family and Luke’s family together, and you can’t,” Cadwell said. “You have to keep it small. It’s even more exhausting because now it’s every day I have to do something.”
Hesseling is enjoying being a new father, and is thankful for having an “amazing woman” in his life, he said.
“She is a homemaker, a mother, an amazing caregiver, a great friend, great partner. I lucked out.”