As the world bid farewell to a troublesome 2020, the first baby to be born in B.C. in the new year arrived just 21 minutes after the countdown on Friday.
Catherine Harrison and Darcy Doberstein welcomed their first baby at the Women's Hospital and Health Centre in Vancouver.
"I think more than anything ... we are just feeling like new parents trying to figure things out," Harrison said. "But obviously excited just about the added element of surprise of a New Year's Day baby."
She said the baby girl was due on Christmas Day, but when there were no signs of her arriving on time, Harrison thought the baby would arrive "later" into the new year.
"We were curious if it would end up being 2020 or 2021, especially as we got closer," Harrison added.
The parents have a few names picked out for the baby girl but they haven't made a final decision just yet.
The first B.C. baby of 2021 weighed in at about seven pounds and four ounces, according to the hospital or about 3.3 kilograms.
Harrision says they plan to introduce their new baby to friends and family through Zoom sessions and FaceTime when they get home.
Mom's answered prayer
Surrey Memorial Hospital also welcomed a baby girl on New Years Day at 12:29 a.m.
Her parents, Parvinder and Shika Pangli said they had a name picked out for her six months ago and are excited to go home to have their newest family member meet her three-year-old sister, Nimrit.
"We named her Rehmat, which means blessing," Pangli explained. "I want to see what [Nimrit's] reaction would be."
He said they've been trying to tell their three-year-old daughter about the new baby for the last several months, but they are unsure of how she will react now that the baby has finally joined the family.
The couple and their extended family are "overwhelmed" with joy and "feel very blessed," Parvinder said, adding that they have been able to FaceTime with their relatives as the pandemic has restricted extended families from visiting the hospital.
"No one is thinking they cannot see the baby because everyone is just happy ... everybody is just excited. It's a new year and it's in the news, right?"
He said his wife has been praying for a New Year's Day baby since their three-year-old daughter was born on Dec. 29 — just a few days shy from the first day of a new year.
"My wife always prayed and I never expected it ... but I guess her prayers came true," Parvinder added.
Northern B.C. welcomes two baby boys
Two families in northern B.C. also welcomed new babies on the first day of the new year.
Baby Kace was born at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. at 4:11 a.m. to parents Jessica and Kenneth Wray of Quesnel, B.C.
According to a release from Northern Health, baby Kace weighed in at seven pounds, 11 ounces or 3.5 kilograms and will soon be joining his half-siblings Jacob and Nathan.
Parents Kristen McCaughley and Corbyn Hubley of Fort St. John also welcomed another addition to the family on New Year's Day.
Their baby boy was born at 8:21 a.m. MT at Fort St. John Hospital weighing seven pounds, eight ounces or 3.4 kilograms.
He was welcomed to the world by his two-year-old sister, Maya.