Little Erwan Khodja made his way into the world at BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre at 3:44 a.m. January 1, weighing five pounds 13 ounces.
"I haven't slept for four days," laughs Erwan's father, Hyacinthe Khodja, reached by phone at his East Vancouver home on Wednesday. "We expected my son to be born on December 24 and on December 31 at 2 p.m., my wife, Fanny, started having strong contractions. By 10 p.m., the contractions were very, very strong every two minutes. The midwife showed up and said my wife was two centimetres dilated. The midwife said, 'You will not deliver your baby tonight, that's for sure' and my wife just started crying."
The couple went to the hospital that night to check in and, soon after, they were told the baby's heart rate was not regular.
"Things started to happen very fast. My wife needed an emergency C-section. Everyone was really nice and reassuring. I'm sorry I'm getting emotional," he says, choking up. "At this point, it's 3 a.m. We're very tired. I was asked to change into scrubs and I was unable to do anything properly. It was sort of funny. We were taken to a room with an amazing team of surgeons, nurses, midwives and everybody was really, really friendly."
The delivery team told Hyacinthe to talk to his wife while they performed the C-section and before he knew it, he was being asked if he wanted to hold his baby boy.
"Erwan was very small, but very cute too," Hyacinthe says. "He has a grumpy little old man face. I call it the French grumpiness because we're both French."
Now, mother and baby are happy and healthy. Erwan has a bit of jaundice he is being treated for and the family is working through some feeding issues.
"It went really nicely. I'm a special-education teacher so I am strongly in favour of public workers, especially nurses. They went above and beyond what they should be doing to help us so I was very thankful," he says, breaking down again.
"For staff, it's always exciting to see who the New Year's Baby is for BC Women's," says Irene Ingel, the program manager for Labour and Delivery at BC Women's. "We wish the family well and are happy to be part of their special time."
The first New Year's baby for the province was born in Abbotsford at 12:02 a.m., weighing five pounds 10 ounces.
Congratulations to the families as well as physicians and staff, and all the best for 2023!
BC Women's specializes in maternity care and delivers approximately 7,000 babies each year. It is one of the largest maternity care centres in Canada.