Meet the first baby of 2018 and her parents born at Surrey Memorial Hospital nine seconds after midnight #SurreyBC pic.twitter.com/PHjE3ERkPa — Grace Kennedy (@gracekenn) January 1, 2018
While most the province was ringing in the New Year, Manpreet Kaur Nijjar and Hardip Singh Shergill were saying hello to their first child at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
It wasn’t expected.
“We were looking for a normal baby,” new father Shergill, 35, said. “But everybody decided, doctors decided to have a c-section.”
The couple’s daughter was due to be born on Dec. 24, but a week of waiting brought on a decision for a c-section.
“I was scared or nervous from the natural (birth), not the c-section,” Nijjar said, laughing a little.
It was only around 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 that they realized they might have a New Year’s baby — which they did in remarkable fashion. Their daughter was born only nine seconds after midnight, at 8 pounds 7 ounces.
The baby girl hasn’t been named yet; her parents will take her to their Gurudwara after they are discharged from the hospital on Wednesday. There, they will read a paragraph from the holy book, and give her a name after the first word of that paragraph.
Little baby 2018 doesn’t have a name yet, but she’ll be getting one when the family goes to the gurudwara on Wednesday pic.twitter.com/xFBq6e3vQ1— Grace Kennedy (@gracekenn) January 1, 2018
So far, the baby girl has had a number of visitors — including a contingent of television and newspaper journalists. Her aunt, a sister-in-law to the couple, waited patiently outside the hospital room for the media to leave. Other family members still live in India, where Nijjar and Shergill moved from two years ago.
Nijjar called her mother in India after the birth.
“She’s very happy,” Nijjar said.
Judging from the smiles on the sleepy parents’ faces, they were pretty happy too.
-with files from Carmen Weld