73 hours of pain bring lifetime of joy

Lisa and Clarence Piontek of Ocean Park are proud new parents of little Samantha Marie. DAMIAN MULINIX photo

OCEAN PARK - The Peninsula didn't have to wait too long to welcome its first baby of the new year, as Samantha Marie Piontek was born at 7:53 p.m., New Years Day.

Lisa and Clarence Piontek of Ocean Park, the parents of the 7 pound, 13 ounce little girl, said that when they found out they were going to have her it was a big surprise. Lisa said that she was never supposed to be able to get pregnant - that coupled with the fact that they had just gotten married weeks before.

"The doctors told me I'd never get pregnant," said Lisa. "[Clarence] and I got married on March 15, and April 1, I was pregnant. I balled my eyes out when I found out."

"73 hours of pain" is how Lisa describes the labor she endured, which resulted in the C-section birth of her child, a close call for the little one.

"She had the cord wrapped around her neck twice, and once around her armpit. But she came out nice and beautiful ... my baby."

The pregnancy was a very hard experience for Lisa, who was sick for the first six months, not being able to eat well and losing weight.

"The only thing that kept us going was peppermint patties and mashed potatoes and gravy. It was the only thing I could keep down."

But Lisa said that everything is good now for both mom and baby. She said that Samantha is a very quiet baby, not crying too much and sleeping a lot - hiding the big gray eyes that Lisa wishes she could keep.

"She's got chubby cheeks, she's perfect," said Lisa. "She's got mommy wrapped around her little finger."

Clarence has lived on the Peninsula off and on since the early 90s, Lisa having moved here a little over two years ago. The two met shortly after her arrival here, on the job at Jessie's Ilwaco Fish Company, where Clarence still works and Lisa plans to return to in another month or two. She said her mother, Arlis Howard, who lives with the couple, would be taking care of Samantha when this happens.

"It's really nice having her close by, she's really been helpful," said Lisa. "She's a really good grandma."

The Pionteks said they are thankful to the people who worked with them at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria, who were very helpful and gave them a big basket full of items to help with the baby.

And though a little attention has shined on their little family, Lisa said that she has it all in perspective.

"The only thing that makes her unique is the fact that she was the first one born on the first," said Lisa, "other than she's mine."

And that's good enough for her.

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