White Rock’s first baby of the New Year is “the new love of our life” for Surrey parents Nicole and Ryan Duggan.
But the youngster’s arrival did create a bit of a pickle for the first-time parents – they had been assuming he would be a she.
“We didn’t know the sex,” Nicole chuckled Tuesday. “We had our girl names picked. It was a boy, so we were just thrown off a bit.”
Born at 5:17 a.m. Jan. 1 at Peace Arch Hospital, the newborn, who was ultimately named Rowan Arthur, weighed in at 3,675 grams (eight pounds, one ounce) – “just the right size,” said Nicole, 30.
It was an event of particular significance to the family, as the infant is not just the Duggans’ first child, but the first grandchild and great-grandchild for both sides.
“Really lucky baby,” Nicole said. “Lots of people came to the hospital.”
One relative brought the couple lobster ravioli; another arrived with a special beverage for the proud father. The family also received a welcome package from the hospital auxiliary that included flowers, a Teddy bear, a T-shirt and knitted items.
Nicole said she and her husband, who is 36, both grew up in Langley, but now call Surrey’s Panorama neighbourhood home. Together for about 7½ years, they married in June 2015.
Ryan handled the birth “like a champ,” she said.
“He’s a very patient, calm person. He just… knew what to do. No passing out.”
Nicole said midwives Janice Robinson and Bridget Mensah played key roles in her experience, “in guiding me through my first pregnancy with confidence.”
The first babies born in B.C. and Surrey this year were also boys.
The province’s first arrived at precisely midnight in Vancouver’s B.C. Women’s Hospital.
Surrey’s newest arrival – and the first in Fraser Health region – was a third son for Manpreet and Ovinder Atwal. Abhay Singh made his debut at 12:27 a.m. Sunday at Surrey Memorial Hospital, weighing 3,672 grams (eight pounds, one ounce).
Although his original due date was Jan. 14, according to his mother, “he was apparently excited for the new year as well.”
Mother and child were released from hospital the next day and are enjoying their first few days at home alongside two siblings, Arjun and Balbhag.
– with files from Evan Seal