10 fingers, 10 toes, two tired but happy parents

LANGLEY – First-time parents Mandeep Sekhon and her husband Guriqbal Singh Khehra were due to be released from Langley Memorial Hospital with their newborn on Monday.

And the parents of Langley Memorial Hospital’s New Year’s Baby won’t head to their east Cloverdale home but to temple. Until they make that visit, the newborn won’t have a name.

“In our culture, we’re supposed to go to Sikh temple,” explained Sekhon. “A name will be chosen from the holy book. We’ll go straight from the hospital to temple.”

The family will pick a nickname or everyday name for the little fellow but his formal name comes through temple.

Sekhon, 29, spent New Year’s in labour – a total of 24 hours – and gave birth to a son via C-section at 2:58 a.m. on Jan. 2. Not that their first child was supposed to be born anywhere near that date; he was due Jan. 7. But her water broke early and they dashed to Langley Memorial, where the birth took place in the Vandekerkhove Family Maternity Centre.

Sekhon works for HandiDart while Khehra is a truck driver. They plan to have another child

but dad joked not for quite a while. Mom needs to heal and dad said they’ll have their hands full with this new member of the family.

The Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary welcomed the baby with a gift package. Joan Brown, with the auxiliary, said it contained a card, a hand knit sweater set, a plush toy, a picture frame and a hand-knit blanket.

Elsewhere, a Langley woman was the first in British Columbia to give birth Jan. 1, at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock.

Darlene Henley was due to give birth Christmas Day but her son arrived five seconds after midnight on Jan. 1. It was a second child and another boy for the 32-year-old Langley woman, whose two-year-old son Jaxson was in the hospital room Thursday quietly watching

his new baby brother poking out his tongue and trying to open his eyes.

“Now I have two boys,” the proud mom said, cradling her newborn dressed in blue and white jammies and smiling warmly. “This is the best New Year’s ever.”

The baby didn’t have a have a name yet, but Henley and her husband had a few ideas.

“We like Lincoln and Sean… Marcus,” she said, just as the baby sneezed in that ridiculously cute way that only newborns sneeze.

“Oh bless you … I think he likes Marcus,” she said, laughing.

Henley was surprised when the doctors told her she had delivered the first baby of the year, adding the delivery went quite quickly and smoothly.

“It was good the first time, and even better the second time. I couldn’t believe I had the first baby. I thought to myself, ‘What does that mean?'” Her dad Randall Henley of White Rock, otherwise known as ‘Poppa,’ said he was shocked when he heard the news.

“I mean, what are the odds of that happening? And just seconds after midnight. It is all very exciting.”

He said he was delighted to have another grandson, as he cuddled Jaxson.