With a due date of Jan. 11, Janice Tremblay didn’t think it was overly likely that her baby’s birth would be Kingston’s first of 2022, but little Ethan had plans of his own. “My first child came early too,” said Tremblay, “so I wasn’t completely surprised, but it was unexpected to happen today.”
Ethan Robert Tremblay came into the world at 2:53 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2022, at Kingston General Hospital (KGH), weighing five pounds and seven ounces.
Both mom and baby are recovering well from the delivery, but Tremblay noted that she was incredibly thankful for the expert care they’ve both received at KGH, as Ethan’s surprise arrival came with challenges and complications. Tremblay went to KGH on the morning of Friday, Dec. 31, to have some concerning symptoms checked out. “And while I was [there], I started having contractions, and it turned out I had preeclampsia. So they weren’t going to let me leave anyway, and they were planning to induce me this morning to get the birth moving along. But then I ended up going into labour last night, and he came a little bit earlier than they thought.”
Tremblay was able to spend a few sweet moments holding baby Ethan right after his birth. “He had a little bit of trouble when he first came out, so they have him up in the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] as well right now just to make sure everything’s okay. But he’s doing very well. They anticipate he’ll be out of the NICU by tomorrow morning.”
COVID-19 also added complexity to Ethan’s birth. Tremblay learned late in the day on Friday that she had been a close-contact of a positive COVID-19 case two days earlier, and as a result she has been required to isolate in hospital. “It’s made things a little bit harder, but I think harder for my husband,” Tremblay said. “Not being able to be here for the birth of his son was really hard. But we’re dealing with it as best we can; it’s just the world as it is at the moment.”
Public Health hasn’t confirmed the projected isolation period for Tremblay, but she does know that once Ethan is released from the NICU, he will be able to be with her. Tremblay is eagerly anticipating the moment when her husband, Joel Tremblay, and their two-and-a-half year old daughter, Alida, will finally be able to meet the new addition to their family.
Determining the 2022 New Year’s baby’s name was also a labour of love and family. “Well, for Ethan, it was just a name we really liked a lot. We had a shortlist that we’ve been looking at for probably the entire time I’ve been pregnant,” Tremblay laughed. “And then, I think a week or two ago we realized, we just keep coming back to Ethan — this is the name we want him to have. And then the middle name, Robert, is after my father.”
Tremblay had nothing but praise for the health care teams that have been supporting her and Ethan. “They’ve been really, really great, the nurses in the NICU. The nurse in charge of him has called me a few times throughout the day, to give me some updates on him. And earlier this morning, they took my phone with them upstairs to take a couple pictures of him and I have them with me — that was really nice.”
“The staff at the hospital have been very, very kind and understanding, considering how stressful the situation is when you have to be by yourself, you’re isolated, and you know you’ve had an exposure and all that sort of stuff on top of just having had a baby. They’ve been really supportive,” said Tremblay.
Ethan’s birth was such a blur, Tremblay said, that she wasn’t even aware for sure if there were other births in progress that were in the running for Kingston’s first baby of 2022. “I just found it so funny that he ended up being the New Year’s Baby,” Tremblay said.
“For the past two weeks, even at my last doctor’s appointment just last Wednesday, I kept saying, ‘Oh, I don’t want a New Year’s baby! He’ll always have to share his birthday!’ And so of course I end up with the New Year’s baby,” she laughed. “But I think it’ll be a really fun, nice memory for him. I’ll be able to save these news stories and have that for him. So I think it’ll be kind of fun in the end!”
On behalf of all Kingstonians, Kingstonist sends best wishes for health, rest, and happiness to the whole Tremblay family, and for many memorable New Year’s birthdays to come for little Ethan Robert.