What was supposed to be a Christmas Day miracle turned into a New Year’s affair to remember for Cody Clark and Tara-May Strueby.
Weighing eight pounds, 15 ounces and a measuring a whopping 22 inches, their first-born son Chase Clark made his big entrance into the world Jan. 2, after 30 hours of labour.
And while his late debut came several hours after the birth of the first baby born at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in 2013, little Chase is still the first New Year’s baby born to a Nanaimo family.
“I don’t know if it’s fully sunk in yet,” said Strueby, of motherhood. “I don’t think words can really describe it, it’s amazing.”
When the babe failed to show by Dec. 25, his due date, Strueby and her fiancé were instructed to visit the hospital on Jan. 1 for induction.
“I had a really tough labour,” said Strueby, 24. “It was 30 hours of no sleep.”
Clark, 25, said it was one of the most amazing but tiring experiences of his life. A pipefitter by trade, he said he was grateful for the opportunity to be home for the birth of his son.
“When her water broke was when it became real for me,” he said. “I was the water boy, passing water around and holding her legs up while she was pushing – just doing everything she needed to feel comfortable.”
After Chase was born, he was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit for several hours – the umbilical cord had become lodged around his neck. It only took a few hours though, before he was back in mom’s arms for good.
“The first moment they put him on my chest was the special moment you feel like you’ve just become a mom and you’ve finally brought this little life into the world,” Strueby said.
Baby Chase was conceived after a five-week trip the couple took to Thailand last January. The high school sweethearts, who had been together eight years since they attended John Barsby Secondary School, decided it was time to get married and start a family. They will be tying the knot in Nanaimo this summer. Until then, the plan is to stay happy and healthy as can be, Strueby said.
The first baby born at NRGH, Verena Anneliese Strougal, arrived at 10:08 p.m. on New Years Day, to Barbara Strougal, of the Comox Valley.