Little Kirk William Braiden Pascal Jr. may not be aware of the fuss, but he made quite an entrance into the world — more specifically Pemberton — on Saturday, April 6.
He is the first baby in British Columbia to be born in the Mobile Medical Unit, a legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The unit was brought to the village in March while the Pemberton Health Centre's Emergency Department undergoes renovations.
Mother Alisha Jensen-Smith of Mount Currie went to the health centre early Saturday morning after five hours of labour at home. Doctors hoped to transfer her to Squamish General Hospital but decided against it when the baby decided to make a quick appearance. After he was born, both mother and child were transferred to hospital in Squamish for observation. They are now home.
Jensen-Smith's partner, Kirk Sr., said his son weighed 4.45 kilograms and was 58 cm long. Mother and child are well, he added, and Kirk Jr.'s siblings were happy.
"Everybody's fine. The baby is home and Alisha's in the bedroom putting makeup on. She's normal. Everybody's happy," he said. "He's sleeping in front of me here. I've got a few days off work to spend time with them."
Pascal said labour went quickly and staying in Pemberton was the safest decision to make.
"The doctor was amazing... and the nurse. They were super professional about everything, so calm and the nicest people that I would want to deliver a child there," he said. "He's a beautiful little boy. I'm a happy dad and we're as happy as we can be. We're just enjoying him. I'm so proud of Alisha for how well she was and how strong she was."
He described the experience of having the baby in the mobile unit as "different."
"It was fine, we were honoured to find out he was the first born in a mobile unit. It was a smaller venue but it had everything they needed. We were amazed how it was just like the emergency clinic but it was a mobile," he said.
The baby's aunt, Nadine Pascal, was also there and said her nephew was "a strong, healthy, Lil'wat baby boy."
Dr. Danielle Patterson, who was on call to the Pemberton Clinic that morning, delivered Kirk Jr. She emphasized that the baby was born there because his mother's labour went too quickly to get her to Squamish.
"We don't normally do deliveries, except in emergency situations. We deliver maybe six babies a year in Pemberton when it's not safe to transfer the mother out," she said. "The family was awesome and the baby's cute!
"The unit is fabulous and well equipped. It's running really smoothly and we're delighted to have it throughout the renovations," Patterson said.