Little Jake is only a smidgen old, and he is already part of a family tradition.
Well, little is definitely the wrong word. He was nine pounds, 10 ounces at birth.
Mother Naomi Mullen and father Tyler Neufeld welcomed their firstborn on January 4 at 7:50 a.m., born at GR Baker Memorial Hospital.
Jake was supposed to born about 10 days prior, but some kids are reluctant to take that first step out into the world. He refused to arrive on his official due date, but he did arrive just in time to be Quesnel’s New Year’s Baby.
“When I was going into labour, we asked if the New Year’s Baby had been born yet,” said Mullen. “They said no, we were still in the running, and right after I had him there were a bunch of women coming in in labour, so it was at the perfect time. We just made it.”
Mullen’s mom Julia was thrilled to hold the new bundle of hope and optimism, and she knew all too well what the sensation felt like to have that symbolism shining above you of being the town’s first child of a new annum. In 1997, when Mullen’s sister Abby Rose was born, it was Julia who was the New Year’s Baby mother.
There’s no fireworks for being the first. Bands don’t play, glitter doesn’t fall from the ceiling, and Terry Crews doesn’t run onstage to announce you’re going all the way to the finals. But a mark has been made, in the life of the baby and the town. The two are now tied by circumstance.
There were other ties forged upon Jake’s first appearance into the wide world.
“We had a different name in mind, but it didn’t really suit him,” said Mullen. “We thought he looked like a Jake, that worked, and his middle name is after Tyler’s grandpa, Loyd. We called him when we were in the hospital, and he was so happy and shocked he didn’t hardly know what to say.”
The best part is how healthy Jake is. His sleeping and eating has been right on cue, and he is already up to 10 pounds, so the family is pleased with the baby’s first foray into their daily lives. Neufeld is from Chilliwack, so he is a bit far from home but Mullen is from Quesnel and has plenty of family to support them in these initial days with a first baby.
Jake also has the goodwill of the entire town, since he made baby history in 2023.