Vernon's New Year’s baby makes her debut

It was close as two expectant moms battled through labour pains, but little Aberley Jean Mcdougall took the lead as the North Okanagan’s first baby of 2013.

Born to first-time parents Kristy Obando-Ortiz and Shane Mcdougall, Aberley was born at 4:05 p.m. Tuesday, weighing just five pounds and 15 ounces.

The little bundle of joy, complete with a full head of hair, was a bit of a surprise to her parents, who weren’t expecting her until today.

“I forgot it was New Year’s until I turned the news on and saw the fireworks,” said 34-year-old Shane.

While the Vernon couple wasn’t expecting it, others were cheering for them to deliver the first baby of 2013.

“Everyone was rooting for that,” said 30-year-old Kristy. “Everyone was saying it was going to be a New Year’s baby.”

But they had some competition.

According to Kristy and Shane, the hospital staff informed them that another expectant mom was also going through labour.

“They were in labour at the same time,” said Shane.

“They (staff) kept telling us, you’re head-to-head,” said Kristy, who went through 34 hours of labour, the last nine of which were hard labour, before a caesarean delivery helped bring her little girl into the world.

The new family was awarded another special delivery Wednesday. An annual tradition for the VJH Auxiliary is to award the first baby of the year with a basket of hand-made blankets, bonnets and booties, as well as flowers and other items donated from local businesses.

It was a special delivery for auxiliary member Nell McInnes.

“It’s actually my birthday...but I wasn’t the New Year’s baby,” who was honoured to present “sweet” little Aberley and her family with the gifts alongside auxiliary member Dixie Mackie.

Aberley is a granddaughter to Gladys Ortiz of New York, Janet and Regan Weed of Vernon and Terry and Louise Mcdougall of Chilliwack.

“It’s our first granddaughter,” beamed Janet, who is already a grandma to her grandsons but is looking forward to having a baby girl in their lives. “I’ve already been out shopping, it’s like a sea of pink.”

Aberley is not only the first baby of the North Okanagan, in fact she beat out Kelowna’s baby, who wasn’t born until 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. But B.C.’s very first baby of the year was born in Kamloops to a Merritt couple at 12:02 a.m.


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