It’s not a typo – the honour of being Kingston’s first-born in 2020 goes to not one, but two babies. Artemis was born at 3:26 A.M., weighing in at 5.5 lb, and Apollo came quickly after at 3:50 A.M., weighing 4.9 lb. Amazingly, parents Cyndi Jones and Coady Nickerson were awake enough for an interview today, and were delighted to share about the new additions to their family.
“Back at our first ultrasound,” said Coady, “the technician was looking around and said, ‘Okay, so, I’m just looking to see if there’s a third one just in case,’ and my first thought was, ‘We’re going to need a bigger house!’ I have a 14 year old – he is super excited to welcome the twins to our family.”
Cyndi added that twins don’t run in the family history on either side. “I never assumed before this pregnancy that I’d have twins!”
The parents were also surprised when they learned that their newborns were Kingston’s New Year’s Babies. Cyndi noted that even during labour, it didn’t cross their minds that they might have the first babies of 2020, because it was well after midnight already when delivery started. “We heard some commotion in the hallway, and we thought, ‘Oh, there’s the New Year’s Baby,'” Cyndi laughed, “but it was just the staff having a picture taken to celebrate New Year’s!”
Documenting the birth well was important to Cyndi and Coady. In addition to Cyndi’s work as a Public Health nurse, the couple runs a videography business, and are experienced with both producing documentaries and capturing milestone moments like weddings. Coady noted that they are training his son Gideon as a videographer as well, and he helped with the documentation of the birth early this morning. Cyndi, who is more used to being behind the camera than in front of it, was grateful for Gideon’s help. “Gideon was fantastic, and I’d like to thank him for helping us document all of this. If I had been able to take over the camera, I probably would have wanted to!”
Coady and Cyndi were also appreciative of the support and cooperation they received from their labour and delivery team at KGH as they documented the birth. “Capturing these moments for the twins was something that was important to us,” said Cyndi, “because we capture important moments in people’s lives, and we just see how powerful it is to be able to relive and cherish those memories. And [the delivery] happened faster than we expected it to, so it’s great that we had a chance to document that journey.”
The parents were excited to talk about their babies’ unique names, as well as their decision not to disclose information about the genders of their babies. Coady noted that they are both fans of Greek mythology, and Artemis and Apollo fit really well for names. “They are twins. Artemis came out first and helped to deliver Apollo. Also, they’re two gods that are known to not fit the gender norms. Artemis is the goddess of hunting and archery, which are often thought of as ‘masculine’ things, and Apollo is the god of poetry, music, art, writing; things that are often seen as more ‘feminine’.”
Cyndi added that although there is a learning curve about the decision to be gender-neutral, it’s been very exciting, and that feedback from their family has been supportive. “We’ve just had lots of congratulations.”
When asked what their hopes are for little Artemis and Apollo, Coady and Cindy were all smiles. “So many! Great poets and archers?” Coady laughed. “And to grow up to be healthy, well-educated, loving, and kind.”
Cyndi added that her hopes are that our society will be more inclusive. “I hope we can allow people to figure out who they are instead of telling them who they are. That’s one thing that’s very important to us.”
On behalf of the whole Kingstonist team, congratulations to Cyndi, Coady, and Gideon, and a warm 2020 welcome to Artemis and Apollo.