Halifax couple welcomes baby girl born just 4 minutes into 2021

·2 min read

It was approaching 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve when Claire McIntyre of Halifax put her daughter, Maya, to bed and decided it was time for a hot bath.

As she soaked in the tub, McIntyre was hit with her first contraction of the evening.

"I was a little bit in denial that it was happening that quickly," she said.

After some close monitoring and realizing the contractions were getting closer and closer together, McIntyre and her partner, Tyler Voeltz, made the choice to head to the IWK Health Centre. It was the day before McIntyre's due date.

"By about 11:15, I called the midwife and said, 'We need to go,'" said McIntyre.

She was admitted quickly and not a moment too soon. McIntyre was having trouble walking and she could feel the baby was ready to make an arrival.

"To my shock and awe, the nurse said, 'You are ready to go, so let's hurry upstairs,'" said McIntyre, a civil servant. "She really wanted to be born in the elevator, but thankfully she took a couple extra minutes."

Welcome to the world

After less than an hour of labour, Leila Neve came into the world at 12:04 a.m. AT on Jan. 1.

"Leila means born at night and Neve is a nice wintry, snowy name that also has some family meaning," said McIntyre.

Leila Neve's fast arrival came as a surprise to McIntyre, who had recently joked with her midwife that there was "no way" she'd ever have a rapid birth, considering she laboured for days with Maya.

Despite how quickly everything unfolded, McIntyre said "it was a really quiet, peaceful night" at the hospital. "We just felt like we were the only ones in the world," she said.


McIntyre said a part of her wanted to name the newborn Hope.

"I really do feel that way about her," she said. "I definitely feel she brings some peace and joy and a distraction from everything else."

McIntyre said she had a fairly easy pregnancy, but understands that hasn't been the case for every expectant parent during the pandemic.

"Because it was the second time around, I wasn't so upset that Tyler wasn't able to come to appointments and stuff like that," she said. "It was a little easier to take, and I know I totally feel for the first-time moms or any other mom that that would be hard for."

The family is being extra cautious and limiting visits, but McIntyre said she and her family are just happy to be home with their newborn baby girl.

"She came out crying. She came out healthy. We're so happy and grateful," she said.