Rylen Cole Heyer is Cowichan's first baby born in 2013
Rylen Cole Heyer hung on for 11 days to become Cowichan's first baby of the 2013.
The nine-pound, eight-ounce lad was born to proud Duncan parents Natasha and Ken Heyer at 8:35 a.m. New Year's Day at Cowichan District Hospital.
Though several other moms delivered children Jan. 1 at CDH, Rylen was number one.
"It's pretty special," Ken said of the New Year's Baby honours. "We were actually hoping to have him home before Christmas so we could have Christmas with him, but Rylen had other ideas.
"He's a hefty fella who was supposed to be born Dec. 21."
Still, his first-born is "getting along just great."
So is Natasha — a staffer at Home Depot — who underwent a C-section after a decision by an obstetrician at around 7 a.m., he said.
"Natasha's still feeling pretty sore, but she's a trooper and she's up walking around."
The birth also left Walmart produce worker Ken tired but happy, especially after dreaming up his son's name one day while eating lunch.
It may be early to envision another child, but Dad sounded game to give Rylen a brother or sister.
"We're gonna wait and see how Rylen works out, but we're pretty sure we'll have another one down the road," he laughed.
And the Heyers' aim to stay in Cowichan.
"We'll be staying here for a long while; it's a good place for a family."
Rylen could eventually meet other valley kids born just after he was delivered at CDH Jan. 1.
Christina Bonneau gave birth to her nine-pound four-ounce son Danny Lee James Vosshans — Cowichan's second child of 2013 — at 10:54 a.m. Danny's dad is Devon Vosshans.
Then, at 10:58 a.m., Lucy Diana Brewer weighed eight pounds, 14.5 ounces when born to parents Katelyn and Curtis, becoming the third local New Year's Day baby.
Meanwhile, Ken Heyer hoped Rylen follows grandfather David's boot steps.
"We hope he becomes a policeman, just like his grandfather."
He gave special high-fives to "the hard-working people at CDH, and the midwives at Matraea Centre."
His advice to other parents: "Love your kids long and hard, and hug them lots."