Welcoming Swift Current's New Year's baby

The Wagner family with their New Year's baby. From left to right, Michael with two-year-old daughter Mila, and Brooke holds Cruz.

A big and healthy baby boy gave his parents a beautiful surprise on New Year’s Day at the Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current.

Cruz Michael Wagner weighed eight pounds, five ounces when born at 6:05 p.m. on Jan. 1 to Brooke and Michael Wagner.

“It was a surprise,” Brooke told the Prairie Post a few days later by telephone. “I wasn't due until Jan. 8. So he was a week early.”

The happy parents received another surprise when they were told their son is Swift Current’s first baby of 2021.

“We were really excited that we got to be the first New Year's baby,” she said. “It wasn't really on our radar, but it was definitely an exciting piece to add to his story.”

The family lives in Swift Current and Cruz is their second child. Their two-year-old daughter Mila was born in the same hospital. She got to meet her brother on Jan. 3.

“She was pretty excited,” Brooke said about her daughter’s reaction.

Cruz shares his second name with his father, and his first name was selected for a specific reason.

“Cruz was just a unique name that we chose, because I'm a school teacher and I wanted a name that I hadn't heard often,” Brooke explained. “I've never taught a Cruz before. So that's why we decided to go with that name, just because it seems to be a bit more unique.”

He also has the distinction of being a pandemic baby, and it will become part of the family’s recollection of his birth.

“On our pictures we're wearing our masks in the hospital,” she said. “That will be a great keepsake in the baby book.”

Brooke took extra precautions during her pregnancy due to concerns over the risk of COVID-19 infection.

“We were concerned throughout and especially going back to work in the fall,” she said. “We had to take extra safety precautions. My husband did the grocery shopping and I tried to stay home as much as possible.”

Michael was present when their daughter was born and he was also there for the birth of their second child, which was important to Brooke.

“I wanted to make sure he was healthy so that he could be there, because if he had any cold or flu symptoms, he wouldn't have been able to be in the room,” she said. “So we made sure that we weren't around anyone in the last couple of weeks, just so that we could make sure that neither one of us were sick.”

The extra COVID-19 precautions in place in the hospital made this birth experience different from her previous one.

“It was a little different in the fact that we were of course wearing masks and screened for temperature, and they were just making sure that we were healthy,” she said. “So that was a little different. All the nurses and doctors took extra safety precautions as well, but it was definitely still a great experience. We had really good care.”

These COVID-19 requirements meant she could not receive any other visitors in the hospital after giving birth.

“It was quiet, but I was relaxing and enjoying the experience just with my husband and our baby for a couple of days,” she mentioned. “I feel like we were less overwhelmed as far as company goes and visitors.”

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