Say hello to River Poirier – Alberni’s first baby of 2012

River Leigh Poirier is Alberni's first baby of 2012. The seven pound four ounce girl was born at 1:30 a.m. at West Coast General Hospital.

River Leigh Poirier is doted over in her mother Kelly's arms while her great grandmother Jan Gallic looks on at West Coast General Hospital on Thursday afternoon. River is Port Alberni's first baby of the year.

River Leigh Poirier is doted over in her mother Kelly's arms while her great grandmother Jan Gallic looks on at West Coast General Hospital on Thursday afternoon. River is Port Alberni's first baby of the year.

The newest member of the Tseshaht First Nation is also Alberni’s first baby born in 2012.

River Leigh Poirier, all seven pounds and four ounces of her, was born at 1:30 a.m. on Thursday morning at West Coast General Hospital.

“My husband Mike and I were watching the hockey game when I felt the great big pop,” mother Kelly Foxcroft-Poirier said. “I didn’t feel panicked and knew I had to get to the hospital.”

Foxcroft-Poirier and her husband arrived at the hospital at 9:30 p.m. and River was delivered by Dr. Marc Puts at 1:30 a.m.

The four hour delivery was “Intense and efficient – just like me,” Foxcroft-Poirier said. “I had some yelling to do.

My other daughter was the first baby Doctor Puts delivered when he moved here,” she added.

Kelly and Mike are parents to two other daughters – Mackenzie Rose and Kaylen.

The fact that River was a girl was a surprise but it would have been a surprise either way. “We didn’t know what gender the baby was during the pregnancy,” Foxcroft-Poirier said.

“Other people thought we’d have a boy but Mike said the odds were stacked against us and that we’d probably have a girl.”

The name River was a safe bet for either a boy or girl, but it has deeper meaning as well. There are lot of special places in the Valley that have to do with the river and her husband loves fishing, Foxcroft-Poirer said.

“And I dreamed about walking the trails and along the water several times during my pregnancy,” she said. “This river is also a spiritual place for aboriginal people where there’s life and flow – the name works.”

River’s due date wasn’t until Jan. 13. “But my husband really wanted her to be the New Year’s baby,” Foxcroft-Poirier said.

No babies were expected until Jan. 10, a VIHA spokesperson said but Thursday changed all that.

“There was no one here when we got here this morning but there’s already been two babies born and one more on the way,” Foxcroft-Poirier said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com