Powell River’s first baby of 2018 arrived at 6:36 pm on January 2 to proud parents Mika Miyaoka and Matthew Harmer. Momoko Miyaoka was born at home and weighed eight pounds, 10 ounces.
“I was so certain she was going to be early, but she was right on her due date,” said Miyaoka, who described the home birth as fantastic. “It was hard, but quick.”
Momoko joins big sisters Mayumi, six, and Mieko, four, as well as 22-year-old half-sister Mya.
“It’s a little bit of a zoo right now, but it’s fun,” said Miyaoka.
In Japanese, “momo” means peach. “I wasn’t sold on the name, but when I saw her I thought she definitely suits it because she looks like a peach,” said Miyaoka. “She has a very heart-shaped face.”
Miyaoka and Harmer, who moved to Powell River last September, said they were surprised their baby was the first of the new year and by the level of interest she has already generated in the community.
“We’re from Vancouver and there are probably a thousand babies born between midnight and January 1, so when my midwives said they thought ours might be the first in Powell River, I said, ‘No way,’” said Miyaoka.
Registered midwife Sheena Nordman helped deliver Momoko and said it was a pleasure to be involved with the first birth of the year.
“To be the first baby in Vancouver, you probably need to born at 12:02 am,” she said. “It was really exciting to be a part of.”
Nordman notes that 30 per cent of the births her organization assists with in Powell River are now home births.
Miyaoka said the community has been outstanding since the arrival, especially when they had some moments of concern with newborn Momoko.
“We had a little hiccup with the baby’s heart rate, so we took her into the hospital, but because there was only one emergency doctor on, they called in another emergency doctor so they could do one-to-one with us,” said Miyaoka. “They would never do that in the city and it was really amazing they did that.”
Momoko is doing fine now and will have a followup in a week’s time, said Miyaoka. The baby girl carries on what Miyaoka said was an unintended family tradition.
“When I met Matthew, he had a daughter named Mya and my sister’s name is Maria; everybody starts with an M in my family," she said. "If we named her something like Lisa it wouldn’t work.”