Haida Gwaii’s first baby of the year is a boy born New Year’s Day in the very same Victoria hospital room as his big sister, Isla.
Parents Ainsley Brown and Barrett Johnson have yet to name their newborn son, who was born 2:47 a.m. at a hearty 9 lbs., 3 ounces.
“I feel like most Haida Gwaii babies are big babies,” said Brown, speaking from Victoria where the islands couple are staying with family.
Nurses at the hospital put together a special welcome basket for the New Year’s baby, and Johnson said two-year-old Isla is excited about her baby brother, telling him ‘Don’t be sad!’ when he cries and asking for him as soon as she wakes up in the morning.
“She’s been a great little big sister,” he said.
On Haida Gwaii, Brown and Johnson said they had great help from local midwife Shannon Greenwood before going to Victoria the first week of December.
They wanted to have their second child around this time, when Johnson, a boat captain, would have time off.
In summer they might have had their son on island, but given the winter drive from their Tow Hill home to the Queen Charlotte hospital, they decided to switch islands.
Even in Victoria, they had several Haida Gwaii friends nearby.
In fact, they were enjoying a Christmas dinner with a few of them when one suggested they all pool their best guesses of boy or girl, and birthdate.
“The three women all independently guessed a boy on the first,” said Brown.
“He wasn’t due until the third, so that’s some pretty good insight.”
The idea they might have the first baby of the year on Haida Gwaii — let alone Vancouver Island — didn’t cross Brown or Johnson’s minds, although Brown said it did feel special to be heading for the hospital just before midnight on a snowy New Year’s Eve.