By Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative
The year 2020 was full of surprises for the Vienneaus, who found out they were having a baby after two years of trying.
The year 2021 also had a surprise in store when their newborn baby, Kai Patrick-Ace Vienneau, was born nine days early, becoming Chatham-Kent’s first baby of the New Year.
“It’s a little weird. We got recognized at Wal-Mart when we were walking to buy some stuff for him,” Nikita Vienneau said.
Baby Kai was born Jan. 1 at 2:46 a.m., weighing just under eight pounds. Mom had a healthy delivery and Kai is already sleeping “like an angel” through the night. His hobbies include looking around and smiling, according to his parents.
Kai was not actually due until Jan. 10, but the parents are glad he came early for another special reason.
“I went into the hospital with really bad hip pain, to the point I was crying. But then I found out that I ended up being six centimetres dilated on New Year’s Eve, which is our wedding anniversary,” Nikita said. “Now he shares a special day with us.”
The Vienneaus, both 23, were married two years ago after falling in love at their high school in Barrie when they were just 19 years old.
A global pandemic was never in their birth plan, but Kai’s dad, John Vienneau, said they are taking it day by day.
“In the very early stage of the pregnancy COVID wasn’t really scary (in Chatham-Kent). It was OK to kind of mingle around but still remain distant with people. But later through the pregnancy, maybe when she was seven or eight months pregnant, that’s when we kind of got a little bit more worried,” he said.
Family and friends living in Belleville and Barrie can’t yet visit baby Kai but luckily the couple is living with Nikita’s dad who is offering support.
John added that he is grateful the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance allowed for spouses to enter the room during birth and stay until their spouses are discharged, which not all hospitals have done during the pandemic, particularly in higher risk cities.
“Thank God that Chatham-Kent’s hospital is kind of lenient when it comes to the spouse being there. It just wouldn’t make sense for her to be just by herself and not have anyone comfort her. We had amazing nurses and an amazing crew that night, and so if it wasn’t for them the labour wouldn’t be as easy. So, we had a really good support,” he said.
Nikita said overall, 2020 had some magic in it, at least for her and John.
“We were trying for almost two years, and then we stopped trying because of the pandemic and then that’s how we ended up with Kai,” she said.
Kai will be living in Chatham-Kent for another year and half until his parents move back to Barrie to be close with family and attend the schools his parents did.