The province’s first baby of 2022 was born at Victoria General Hospital at four minutes past midnight and is already making big waves in the hearts of his Salt Spring parents who met abroad while working on a yacht.
Shawna White and her fiance Ishmael Grimwood were feeling full of gratitude and awe Saturday at the profound impact their first child, weighing in at six pounds, six ounces, has already had on their lives.
“We’re ecstatic,” said Grimwood. “It’s amazing. We’re just super happy and it just creates a whole new meaning to life.”
White’s water broke on the evening of Dec. 30. She waited for labour to begin for about 27 hours before a C-section was performed just after midnight. The boy, who has yet to be named, was born at 12:04 a.m..
“Having a baby and being parents for the first time is the most amazing experience,” said Grimwood. “Being the first baby of the year makes it extra special — the perfect start to the new year.”
White, 36, was born on Salt Spring while Grimwood, 34, hails from New Zealand. He was captaining a private yacht in Antigua in the Caribbean when he met White, a steward. The couple were friends for some years before they began dating.
The pair have been a couple about seven years and have since travelled extensively as part of their jobs.
“The baby is nursing already; Shawna’s a natural mother,” Grimwood said.
The child is likely “destined to have some kind of maritime lifestyle,” said Grimwood. The tentative plan is for Grimwood to work abroad for a couple of months at a time and return to Salt Spring where the couple have resided together for a few years.
While the couple planned to have a baby they didn’t necessarily plan to have a child amid a pandemic. Grimwood said the couple didn’t let the provincial state of emergency of nearly two years affect their approach to the pregnancy and birth and believe “adaptation” will be the most important action they can take.
“We just have to adapt to whatever the world is at the time, that’s what we do,” said Grimwood. “We just have to take it one day at a time.”
Grimwood said it was apparent at Victoria General Hospital that staff are overworked, almost two years into the pandemic. “It’s noticeable they need more people.”
A COVID-19 outbreak was declared on the general medicine floor, 4B, of Victoria General Hospital on Friday after two patients tested positive.
Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the “care we got was amazing,” said Grimwood. “It was unbelievable and we are very grateful for all of them.”