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UPDATED: Mount Pearl woman who lives in Dildo gives birth to province’s first baby born in 2019

Zephyr Louise Coyote Byrne-Russell, born 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s, was the first baby born in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2019.
Zephyr Louise Coyote Byrne-Russell, born 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s, was the first baby born in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2019. - Contributed

‘She’s my New Year’s miracle’

As many people in Newfoundland and Labrador were celebrating the arrival of a new year, Kathyrn Byrne was celebrating a special arrival of her own.

Byrne, 32, who is from Mount Pearl and lives in Dildo, gave birth to her first child — a baby girl — with father Benjamin Russell, 37, who is from Ontario and lives in Long Harbour, by her side.

Zephyr Louise Coyote Byrne-Russell came into the world weighing six pounds, 11 ounces at 2 a.m. Tuesday, New Year’s Day, making her the first baby born in the province in 2019.

“She was actually the first? Get out of town! Wow!” Byrne told The Telegram 20 minutes after she and her new bundle of joy were discharged from the Health Sciences Centre.

“I knew we were the first (in St. John’s), but didn’t know if there was another (baby born) in the province. That’s awesome.”

Byrne's baby was one of four babies born on New Year's Day at the Health Sciences Centre, Eastern Health indicated.

“She’s just perfect. She’s my New Year’s miracle.”

— Kathryn Byrne

According to the Labrador Grenfell Health Authority, two babies were born Wednesday morning, Jan. 2 (one in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and another in Labrador City), while there was a late arrival in the Central Health Authority’s region that same day. The Western Health Authority reported no births in the first few days of the year in that region.

For having the first baby born at the hospital in 2019, Byrne received a new car seat from the Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association, which gives one to each baby born for the year in each of the hospitals across the province.

But the biggest gift, Byrne said, was a healthy baby.

“She’s just perfect,” she said. “She’s my New Year’s miracle.”

She’s wasn’t planned and actually wasn’t due until Jan. 23.

However, in the afternoon of Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, Byrne said, she was feeling “a little off.”

“I called my mom and she told me to go to the hospital,” said Byrne, who was staying at her father’s house in Green’s Harbour at the time while her house in Dildo was being renovated. Contractions started during the hour-drive to the city, but she made it to her mother’s house in Mount Pearl.

Her mother immediately drove her to the hospital.

They arrived at 4:30 p.m. Byrne said she was in labour for only about 20 minutes and pushed nine times before she gave birth.

“She gave us quite the surprise, coming early,” Byrne said. “But I’m so happy she’s here.”

When asked about her baby’s unique name, Byrne said it has special meaning.

“It feels amazing to be a mother. It really is indescribable. It’s the coolest thing ever."

— Byrne

In the dictionary, zephyr means “a soft, gentle breeze.” Byrne, who has her student pilot’s licence, said she heard the name during her 10 years living in British Columbia.

“It’s a hippie thing,” she said, with a chuckle. “I really liked it and (Russell) liked it because it was a Red Hot Chili Peppers song (‘The Zephyr Song’).”

Louise is Byrne’s middle name, as well as her mother’s middle name.

As for Coyote, “that’s a hard one to explain,” Byrne said.

She said the coyote is symbolic for the animal which, in North American folklore, represents a great spiritual guide.

“Kind of like something that led me down the path that I took in my life,” Byrne said.

Byrne plans to stay in Mount Pearl with her mother for the next few weeks until the renovations in Dildo are completed.

Byrne is looking forward to taking her new baby girl home.

“It feels amazing to be a mother. It really is indescribable. It’s the coolest thing ever,” said Byrne, who co-owns the Dildo Dory Grill in Dildo with her father, Jerry Byrne, owner of the Doctor’s Inn in Green’s Harbour.

“I’m so looking forward to this new adventure with her.”

Twitter: @TelyRosie

NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated that Zephyr Louise Coyote Byrne-Russell was the only baby born in N.L. on New Year's Day. There were, in fact, four in total including Zephyr.


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