Jorie Tuit joins her mom Elaine with newborn sister Hallie Rae and dad Rob at Victoria General Hospital after Hallie gave everyone a surprise with a quick birth this morning at home, making her Victoria’s first baby of 2018. Rob Tuit photo

Victoria’s first baby of 2018 a surprise for mom and dad

Hallie Rae Tuit was born at home, in the laundry room

The Tuit family had planned a quiet New Year’s Eve at home, just mom, dad and two-year-old Jorie.

But when Elaine’s contractions started just after 1 a.m., her husband Rob says he figured she’d be in labour for at least another 24 hours, like she was with Jorie.

“It just literally went from being okay, to ‘I have to push’,” Rob says.

Hallie Rae Tuit made her debut at 4:53 a.m., weighing 8lb. 4 oz. hand delivered to her mom, by her dad, in the laundry room of their Brentwood Bay home.

“I called an ambulance, and five minutes later, a baby came out,” he says. “Ten minutes after that, the ambulance arrived.”

He’s chuckling now as he recalls his hectic morning, gathering blankets and pillows and corralling a two-year-old with a screaming wife and a 911 dispatch operator on the phone.

“I’ve been a firefighter for a lot of years so I was able to stay calm,” he says. “But I haven’t delivered a baby before.”

Despite Elaine being almost five days past her Dec. 27 due date, Rob says neither of them thought they would become parents of Victoria’s first baby of 2018.

Both Elaine and Hallie are now resting comfortably at Victoria General Hospital.

RELATED: First Canadian New Year’s babies delivered at the stroke of midnight

British Columbia’s New Year’s baby came just seconds after midnight, a baby girl born to a family in Surrey, weighing 8 lb. 7 oz.

Shortly after, at 1:23 a.m., Vancouver Island’s first baby of 2018, Chase Luca Taylor, was born to his Nanaimo parents Bruce and Paige, weighing 9 lb. 11 oz. at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital.

The New Year’s babies are always the first symbol of a new year, according to the ministry of health, more than 44,000 babies are expected to be born in British Columbia in 2018.

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