The new year started with a healthy cry from Layla Mackenzie McTeer, the first baby born at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital this year.
The maternity ward was abuzz with expectant moms when Layla arrived six pounds and 15 ounces at 8:25 a.m. Saturday.
“It’s definitely one way to start the year,” said new dad, Joey McTeer, 31, smiling at his partner and new mom, 26-year-old Melanie Spray.
“They said we got the ball rolling, and everyone else just started having babies,” she added of the two other bundles delivered that day.
Steady contractions led the couple to the Trail hospital at around 2 a.m.
“It was pretty overwhelming,” said Joey. “The worst part about it was seeing her in so much agony.”
But mom pushed through, and baby arrived eight hours later.
Layla joins the ranks of about five per cent of babies actually born on their due date. She arrived with ease with Dr. Sarah Tucker delivering the newborn with help from nurses Shanna Tanabe and Marion Mazzocchi.
“They were amazing and took great care of us,” said Melanie, who admitted she wanted to find out what she was having before birth but baby wasn’t cooperating during an ultrasound, and it was decided to keep the sex a surprise.
The realness has started to settle in with sleepless nights at the hospital forgotten with baby cuddles during the day.
Precious moments are spent gazing at their baby girl and trying to decide who she looks like.
But one thing is for certain,“if she’s anything like her mom, she’ll be all kinds of trouble,” laughed Joey.
Just as the parents thought they were full to the brim with joy, they were gifted with warm hand-made quilts.
In annual tradition, the Tuesday Morning Quilters’ Rose Wenzel and Barb Johnson dropped off batik-style creations made especially for mom and her New Year’s baby.
The couple, originally from Rossland, live in Warfield now. Melanie works as a pharmacy technician in Fruitvale and Joey at Interfor in Castlegar.
Proud grandparents Pat and Ethel McTeer of Rossland and grandma Michelle Spray of Vernon live close enough to support the couple as they settle back into their home with a new baby.