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First Bismarck baby of 2021 caps pandemic pregnancy

First Bismarck baby of 2021 caps pandemic pregnancy


Asher James Kemnitz sent his parents into a hand-washing and mask-wearing frenzy over the past nine months as they awaited his arrival during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It caused a lot more anxiety,” mom Breenna Davidson said Jan. 1 about 12 hours after giving birth to the first baby born in Bismarck in 2021. “It was scary going out in public, and the masks definitely made it harder too just because you’re so out of breath when you’re pregnant anyway.”

She and boyfriend Jeffrey Kemnitz, both of Mandan, welcomed their first child at Sanford Health at 1:01 a.m. Asher was born at 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 20.5 inches.

Labor “was hard, and it felt very long,” Davidson said. She arrived at Sanford around 10 a.m. Dec. 31.

Davidson had only Kemnitz by her side at the hospital, to limit the number of people nearby amid the pandemic. The couple plans to introduce Asher to the rest of their family when they leave the hospital.

Davidson said she and Kemnitz have been happy as they've navigated their first few hours of parenthood together.

"You're figuring it out as you go," she said.

Asher isn’t the first New Year’s baby in the family. Davidson said her uncle was born in Dickinson on Jan. 1 four decades ago.

Davidson, 21, works as a direct support professional at HIT Inc. She’s also a student at the University of Mary, where she’s studying athletic training biomechanics with plans to become a physical therapist. Kemnitz, 22, is an electrician.

Reach Amy R. Sisk at 701-250-8252 or


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