Homer’s first baby of 2016 comes home

Sarah and Ben Hartmann pose with their son, Samuel Joseph Hartmann, on Jan. 24. Samuel was born at 12:53 a.m. Jan. 2, 2016, at South Peninsula Hospital, the first baby born in Homer. He was born two weeks early and had to be flown the morning of his birth by medevac with his mom to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He returned home on Jan. 19. He’s already gained a pound in weight and is in good health, his parents said.

“So far, so good,” Ben Hartmann said.

Sarah works as a third grade teacher at West Homer Elementary School and Ben works at Best Western Bidarka Inn. Originally from Nebraska, Sarah Hartmann first came to Alaska to teach in Savoonga, Saint Lawrence Island. She returned to Nebraska, where she met Ben, and later convinced him to move to Alaska. They have been married 18 months. Samuel’s grandparents are Scott and Mary Novak of O’Neill, Neb., Randall Hartmann of Lincoln, Neb., and Michelle Atchity of Overland Park, Kan.

Samuel and two other babies kept Birthing Center staff at SPH busy that morning. Two other babies were born at 2:29 a.m. and 3:48 a.m. Jan. 2.

The first baby of the year and his family were  showered with gifts from local businesses and nonprofits. Donating items were American Legion Auxiliary Unit 16 Juniors, books; Cosmic Kitchen, $50 gift card; Homer Bookstore, $20 gift card; Homer’s Jeans, baby Carhartt overalls; Mary Wallis, handmade receiving blankets, burp cloths and wash cloth sets; Old Inlet Bookstore, $50 gift certificate; Sea Glo Spa & Boutique, skin cream for mom; Spenard Builders Supply, $50 gift card; SPH Auxiliary, diaper cake, bath soaps and lotions, brush and comb; Sprout, basket full of goodies: diapers, books, hat,  coffee mug, cloth diaper covers; Sydney Webb, Hands On Massage, 1-hour massage; The Grog Shop: bottle of champagne; Timeless Toys, $50 gift certificate, and Two Sisters Bakery, $30 birthday cake.