As the calendar turned over from one year to the next, it’s safe to say that we all were ready for a fresh new start. However, little Francis Clyde James “CJ” Laws can lay claim to the freshest start of all for 2021, as the first baby of the new year born in Kingston.
Mom Alicia Elliot couldn’t be prouder. “Oh, he’s so cute. On a scale of one to ten – probably he’s about a 9,000,” she laughed.
Elliot and her boyfriend, Evan Laws, had decided to keep their baby’s sex a surprise. “We didn’t even have a name completely chosen,” said Elliot. “But the name that we ended up giving him has a lot of meaning and family history in it.”
With an initial due-date of January 10, Elliot hadn’t really considered that her new little one would be in the running at all for first baby of the year. But at her 38-week checkup, although the baby was doing well, Elliot’s blood pressure was concerning to her obstetrician, and so Elliot was admitted to KGH for induction of labour on December 31.
“At some point that evening,” Elliot said, “we looked at each other and kind of joked, ‘wouldn’t it be funny if our baby was the first one in 2021?’ But other than that passing thought we didn’t really think about it too much.”
Especially when midnight turned into the wee hours of the morning, Elliot said she assumed there would have been other babies born already. But sometime after 2:00 A.M., her obstetrician told her, “It could be you guys – no other babies yet.”
Sure enough, at 3:09 A.M. when CJ made his appearance, the title was all his. And not just the title, but a hand-knitted hat as well. “One of the nurses on the Labour and Delivery floor knitted that hat specifically for the first baby of the new year,” said Elliot. “And the blanket that he is wrapped in in that photo was made by my aunt, so right from the start he was surrounded by loving gifts.”
Pregnancy and delivering a baby during the COVID-19 pandemic had added challenges, Elliot noted. “The hardest thing was doing all of the prenatal appointments alone. And now, of course, we can’t have people over to meet CJ as we would have in a normal situation. But we have such a great support system, and video calls over Facetime have helped us stay connected with our family and friends.”
Mom and baby are both well post-delivery, and Elliot credits her medical team, who gave her “lots of awesome support”, she enthused. “There was a really amazing nurse named Dana in Labour and Delivery that stood out especially, but the whole team was fantastic. And it’s because they caught the signs of preeclampsia so early that I was able to get the right care at the right time. I’m really grateful.”