Meadow Lake hospital welcomes New Year’s baby

Seleste and Derek Eftoda with their new baby boy, Eli.

Seleste and Derek Eftoda with their new baby boy, Eli.

by Derek Cornet

Eli James Eftoda – who arrived one day earlier than expected – was born to Meadow Lake area couple Derek and Seleste Eftoda Jan. 1, making him the Meadow Lake hospital’s 2014 New Year’s baby.

Born at 2:02 p.m., Eli weighed six pounds, two ounces. The Eftodas were delighted to bring their first child into the world. Seleste Eftoda said, as soon as she saw her son, a sense of joy filled her body.
“He was just perfect,” she said about the first moment she laid her eyes on him. “He was so cute. It was love from the very beginning.”

The Eftodas have been together for close to 10 years and moved to Meadow Lake from Clearwater River Dene Nation near La Loche three years ago. Having a child is also a decision the couple didn’t take lightly. They spent years planning the addition to their family. Derek said it was important they were settled and he had a good job to pay the extra expenses.
“We have a house now with a large yard and we’re at the right place financially,” he said. “It was the right time to start a family.”
Throughout her pregnancy, Seleste Eftoda was monitored by Dr. Leani Loots. She described Loots as a good doctor and very understanding of her concerns. She added, her pregnancy was typical aside from feeling sick and tired for the first couple months and toward the end.

Giving birth, however, wasn’t so typical. Steps in order to have a natural birth weren’t occurring and the call was made to deliver Eli via a caesarean section. Seleste Eftoda described the birth as a scary one with several complications. But, she praised Loots, as well as the team of doctors and nurses who assisted during the birth.

“I just can’t express my thanks enough for the doctors and nurses who were there,” she said.

Having the New Year’s baby also has its perks. Eli was gifted with a basket stuffed with toys and other items from the Meadow Lake Welcome Wagon. Family and friends also travelled from far away places to congratulate the couple and meet the newest member of their family.

“It’s overwhelming,” Derek Eftoda said about the birth of his son. “It really hasn’t sunk in yet, but I’m ready.”

On Jan. 3, the mother and child were released from the hospital to allow the Eftodas to continue their lives with child in tow.
Seleste Eftoda said she feels a happiness beyond measure and she’s excited for what the future holds.

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