The son of two frontline workers is the first baby born at Jamestown Regional Medical Center in 2021.

Jalen Denning Breitbach entered the world at 3:12 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3. He weighed 8 lbs., 6 oz. and has a headful of long, brown hair.

Welcoming him are his mother, Makenzie, a Family BirthPlace registered nurse at JRMC; dad, Alex, a North Dakota Highway Patrol officer and big brother Reece, age 2.5.

The year 2020 was both challenging and good for the Breitbachs, Makenzie said.

Alex took a new job with the highway patrol, she’s completing her nurse practitioner degree, the couple moved from Jamestown to Rugby, N.D., and both Jalen and Reece are healthy.

The couple took appropriate precautions – Alex said he always wore his mask when he worked, including every traffic stop. Makenzie said she felt protected, working in the labor and delivery unit and JRMC. She avoided the patient care department where medical teams treated COVID-positive patients.

“You hear of pregnant women facing complications after a positive COVID test,” she said. “I didn’t want that to happen to me.”

One scare was a mass medical teams discovered on Jalen’s lung. Monitoring it required weekly trips from Rugby to Fargo — “a lot of miles,” Alex remembers. However, both mom and baby were well enough to deliver in Jamestown.

Now that he’s born, Makenzie expects a few more trips as doctors will want to monitor the mass and ensure Jalen is healthy.

“We’ve just been lucky,” Alex said. “Everything worked out.”

The family limited interactions with others. Originally from Oakes, the Breitbachs did travel to visit family and grandparents were caring for Reece while Alex and Makenzie remained at the hospital with Baby Jalen.

Moving forward, Makenzie and Alex want what anyone wants for their boys – health and happiness.

As the parents of the first baby born at JRMC in 2021, Alex and Makenzie have high expectations for the year.

The couple said they made the most of 2020, spending time at home with family.

“These are my favorite people,” Makenzie said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m here or in California, as long as I’m with them.

Alex agreed. He said he didn’t miss going out.

“I think this year will be what you make it,” Makenzie said. “If you’re stuck at home, be happy you have people to be with.”

JRMC averages about 300 or so deliveries each year. In 2020, moms delivered 309 babies at JRMC, compared to 327 in 2019.