Jaikar Bassi was 10 days overdue when he entered the world New Year’s Day to become Vancouver Island’s first baby of 2013.
Born at Victoria General Hospital at 5:35 a.m., Jaikar weighed seven pounds, six ounces — or 3,348 grams — and he was 51 centimetres long.
His parents are Jas Bassi, 32, a chemical engineer, and Nav Bassi, 31, chief technology officer, at the University of Victoria’s Peter B. Gustavson School of Business.
“It’s just the best feeling in the world when he came out; it’s truly a miracle,” said Jas. “We feel a sense of accomplishment somehow.”
“He made us really happy today just being here,” Nav added.
It’s the first child for Jas and Nav. The couple met in Vancouver — set up by mutual friends who thought they were “perfect for one another” — and are married almost four years now. And it’s a first grandchild for both sets of grandparents.
Jas Bassi was induced the morning of Dec. 31 and by 6:30 p.m. her water had broken and she was in hospital with contractions. At midnight both sets of grandparents came into the room for a quick toast and then it was back to the very tough work of labour with back-to-back contractions.
“They call it labour and now I understand why,” Nav said. “I have never seen that kind of effort, ever.”
For her part, Jas, looking refreshed and all smiles Tuesday afternoon, said it was a good healthy pregnancy. “We had a great run,” she said. “It’s the biggest and best thing I’ve done in my life.”
Jai was due to arrive Dec. 23. As the days afterward dragged on, the biggest worry for mom was that she wasn’t uncomfortable and baby wasn’t showing signs of urgency either.
To pass time, Jas took up knitting and after a couple of blankets and booties were created, only then did the parents start to say to themselves and doctors “OK, let’s do this.”
“I never thought I’d be here at this moment in time,” Nav said, of the feelings he had and the feelings his father must have had when Nav was born. “This is something you cannot prepare yourself for,” Nav said. “It brings me a bit closer to my dad.”
Being Vancouver Island’s 2013 baby is an added bonus: “We think he’s special and now everyone else thinks he’s special too, which makes us really happy,” Nav said. “It’s a bit of a big deal for our family and us.”
The Vancouver Island Health Authority contacted hospitals in Nanaimo, Cowichan and Campbell River Tuesday morning and heard of no other babies born before 5:35 a.m.
The first baby born in the province was David Junior Ricky Joe James, born at 12:02 a.m. at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. He weighed eight pounds, 11 ounces, confirmed Tasleem Juma, spokesperson for the Fraser Health Authority. The parents are from Merritt.
The first baby born on the Lower Mainland at Langley Memorial Hospital was a boy, Shane Greenwood, at 12:26 a.m.
In total, there were five babies born — three boys followed by two girls — at Langley Memorial before even the first child was born at Victoria General Hospital.
The five babies born at Langley Memorial arrived at: 12:26 a.m.; 2:10 a.m.; 3:04 a.m.; 4:12 a.m. and 5:29 a.m., Juma said.
“This is not even a record for them,” said Juma, speaking to the number of babies born in any given day at that hospital.
“We’re very proud of all of them,” Juma said. “What a great way to start the year.”
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