It wasn’t at all how Danzel Ondevilla had planned to deliver her first-born child, but at least she’ll have a story to tell her son when he’s older.
Arriving into the world 23 hours into 2021, Dylan Mikael Ondevilla arrived pretty late to be Chilliwack’s New Year’s baby, but was actually four days earlier than expected.
Danzel was ringing in the new year with her husband, Maclean Ondevilla. The Filipino couple were celebrating and had prepared a midnight meal known as “media noche” where they stay up late together after midnight to eat. She had already begun to feel contractions, but wasn’t too concerned.
They were still awake at 3 a.m. when Danzel started to feel “intense pain,” she recalled.
As each hour went by, the pain got worse. She sat in a warm bath and called her midwife five hours later at 8 a.m. who suggested she stay in the water and time her contractions to make sure she was in active labour.
At around 11 a.m., Danzel couldn’t stand the pain any longer so she and her husband went to Chilliwack General Hospital (CGH).
She felt the urge to push, but it wasn’t time. Hours went by as she walked around the hospital. The pain never subsided.
“Around 7 p.m. I’m feeling exhausted because that was New Year’s Eve. I hadn’t even had any rest because we were preparing our food and I didn’t get any sleep that night.”
So there she was tired, hungry and in labour on New Year’s Day.
To make matters worse, Dylan’s head was turned the wrong way. No matter how much she pushed, the little guy simply wasn’t coming out.
She was hoping for a vaginal birth, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“I was really kind of frustrated.”
Shortly before midnight, Danzel was taken into surgery and delivered Dylan by caesarian section. He arrived at 11 p.m., weighing 8 lbs. 15 oz. and measuring 53.5 centimetres in length. He was the only baby born at CGH on Jan. 1, 2021.
Their troubles weren’t over yet though. Dylan was born with jaundice and had to be placed under special lights to lower his levels of a substance in his blood the body needs to excrete, bilirubin. As of Wednesday, Jan. 6 they had not yet been discharged from the hospital even though his bilirubin number was at a safe level.
“It’s been a wild ride,” Danzel said. “I just really want to go home and have a rest and focus on my baby.”
She’s also looking forward to when Dylan is a bit older and she can tell him that he made headlines as Chilliwack’s 2021 New Year baby.
“When he grows up I can show him that ‘hey once in your life you’ve been in the newspaper.’”