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New Year's baby born Jan. 1 first child for North Vancouver couple

Dad ends COVID isolation just in time for daughter's birth at Lions Gate Hospital
NV New Years Baby 2022
Parents Hengameh Namini (mom) and dad Omid Amirinikou with daughter Cyra, the first baby born on the North Shore in 2022.

The first baby born on the North Shore in 2022, Cyra Amirinikou, made her entrance right on time, Jan. 1.

But there were some tense moments along the way as Cyra’s father came down with COVID just a week before her due date. Thankfully he was over his symptoms and out of isolation just in time to be there for his daughter’s birth.

Cyra, the first baby for North Vancouver couple Hengameh Namini, 34, and Omid Amirinikou, 39, became the North Shore’s newest citizen at 3:02 p.m. on New Year’s Day at Lions Gate Hospital, weighing 6 lbs. 5 oz.

Namini said although her baby was due Jan. 1, many babies don’t actually arrive on their due date, so being first was still a surprise.

Adding a curveball into the final days of the pregnancy, Namini’s partner Amirinikou began developing COVID symptoms just prior to Christmas.

The couple immediately went into isolation and got tested. He tested positive. She tested negative.

“We found out on Christmas Eve,” she said. “It was very stressful.”

While Amirinikou recovered, Namini temporarily moved to her parents’ home nearby and it was there that her contractions began on Dec. 29.

The baby, however, was in no hurry to make her entrance, and by New Year’s Eve, Amirinikou was able to come out of isolation for the final part of Namini’s labour.

Back home again in North Vancouver, all three are doing well.

“She’s such a wonderful baby,” said Namini.

“She’s very alert. When she opens her eyes, it feels like you're having full-blown eye contact with her, even though she can't really see anything. She really holds her gaze like she's looking into your soul.”