CENTRAL SAANICH, B.C. — The first baby born on southern Vancouver Island in 2018 made a dramatic entrance Monday, delivered on the floor of the family's laundry room with her father's help and coaching from a 911 dispatcher.
Rob Tuit, 33, described the experience as "a blur" as he and his wife, Elaine Tuit, welcomed their second child early Jan. 1.
Tuit said his wife began having contractions in their Victoria-area home early in the morning and he called for an ambulance at 4:43 a.m. after her water broke, as instructed by the couple's doctor.
He said he followed the emergency dispatcher's directions, gathering towels and helping his wife lay on the floor in the laundry room, adjacent to the washroom where she had been standing.
"I said, 'Oh, I can see the crown of the head,' and the dispatcher says, 'OK, I'm going to walk you through this now.' I wasn't quite ready to hear those words," Tuit said, laughing.
Hallie Tuit was born minutes later at 4:53 a.m., weighing eight pounds four ounces.
What made the experience especially neat was that it involved the whole family, Tuit said, adding that his two-year-old daughter Jorie watched the entire delivery while standing at her mother's head.
"I had my daughter bring me my running shoe so I could grab a lace out of it and tie off the umbilical cord," he said. "Shortly after that the paramedics showed up."
Tuit added that the couple is "very pro hospital" and hadn't planned to have a home birth.
"We're very fortunate there were no complications," he said.
The family lives in the Victoria-area community of Brentwood Bay. Tuit said his wife works for the provincial government and he is a firefighter, something he believes helped him stay calm during the surprise delivery.
"I think it was just one of those things were instinct kicks in and you do what you have to do," he said.
Tuit said Monday's delivery was very different than his first daughter's birth, when his wife was in labour for 22 hours.
British Columbia's first baby of the new year was born in Surrey nine seconds after midnight.
The Canadian Press