SPECIAL DELIVERY: Three Forks woman gives birth to baby girl at Manhattan gas station

“I felt my water break and they were like, we have time,” said Areona Upmeyer. “I said no, we don’t have time—she’s coming.”
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Posted at 10:27 AM, Nov 21, 2023

MANHATTAN — In October, the Conoco gas station in Manhattan got a special delivery. Six pounds and eleven ounces, to be exact.

“I felt my water break and they were like, we have time,” said Areona Upmeyer of Three Forks. “I said no, we don’t have time—she’s coming.”

On the morning of Oct. 26, Areona woke up to contractions, so she called her family and they rushed to the hospital in Bozeman, a roughly 30-mile trek away.

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Everything was smooth sailing until they reached Manhattan.

“It started getting more intense,” said Areona. "We called 911 and told them to meet us at the Conoco. We got to the 4-way stop, did not stop at all, just kept turning and at the same time we were turning—”

The ambulance was right behind them, ready to help.

“I was scared but excited at the same time,” said Areona. “It was more of like, I just want my kid here and to know she’s healthy.”

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Areona hopped in the ambulance.

“I took a couple more contractions, and in two pushes she was here,” she said.

Her name is Zoey Kaminski—a healthy baby girl who is kind of small-town famous. Areona has visited the gas station a few times since Zoey’s birth.

“They call her the gas station baby and they absolutely love her,” said Areona.

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And she is just as in love with her little bundle of joy who decided to make a grand entrance at the gas station.

“It didn’t go as planned, but I wouldn’t change it for anything because now she’s here,” said Areona.

The only thing she wishes about the whole experience?

“I just wish her dad was here. He was in a really bad motorcycle accident three months ago and is now down in Utah, doing better, but I just wish he could’ve been here to see her," Areona said through tears.

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"She is the best miracle in the last 3 months I’ve had, so I gotta stay strong for her and hopefully soon we’ll be able to go see him so he can finally meet his daughter,” she added.

If you would like to send Areona something to help with her baby, Zoey, you can text 406-980-1206.