One thing’s for sure – Yiyi Chloe Wang has got good timing, arriving in the world as the first baby of the new year for Nanaimo and Vancouver Island and in time to live up to her name.
Father Eric Wang likes to think a big part of it was an agreement between mother and child.
Yiyi, who’ll be known as Chloe, is the first child of Nanaimo’s Wang and Jane Zhang, both 27. She was born a week early at 2:09 a.m. Jan. 1 at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, weighing six pounds.
Zhang was expecting on Jan. 7 but checked into NRGH at 11:30 p.m. Dec. 31 with contractions. It was sort of a surprise and sort of their plan, said Wang, who called the News Bulletin as his wife slept Monday morning. Wang said his wife had always told the baby if she comes early, she’s coming Jan. 1, because it’s the New Year and the parents had already decided her name would be Yiyi, closely resembling the Chinese word for first day yi hao. Broken apart, the name means ‘one’ and ‘beautiful lady.’
Otherwise Zhang told her daughter to be on time, or arrive later on Jan. 10, which would see the birth fall on Zhang’s birthday in the Chinese lunar calendar.
“We sort of had a feeling that she was coming, but we didn’t know she was coming so early,” said Wang, whose doctor said when the contractions started that the baby would arrive within 48 hours. The feeling of meeting his daughter for the first time was complex and amazing for Wang, who said his daughter is gorgeous.
Zhang, speaking later Monday afternoon, called the experience amazing after the pain, the pushing, seeing the baby arrive and having the doctor put the baby on her breast.
“She’s the best thing in the world,” she said, adding everything was worth it to see her.
The couple found out they had the first baby born at the hospital when their daughter was born, and later learned she was also the first baby born in 2017 on Vancouver Island. Zhang said it was exciting; she was so quick and she didn’t expect she’d be the first on the Island.
The first-time parents have made Nanaimo home for almost six years. Wang’s mother, father and mother-in-law are all in Nanaimo to celebrate the couple’s child.
“For the Chinese, it’s a pretty big event and they really want to celebrate it,” Wang said.