Zoelle Gia Bellen was the first newborn in Abbotsford, born at 12:42 a.m. on Jan. 1 at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital to mother Rizza Bellen, father Gary Bellen and sister Zyra. Gary Bellen/Submitted photo

Abbotsford’s New Year’s baby a ‘shining light’

Zoelle Gia Bellen was born at 12:42 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2019

Abbotsford’s first newborn of 2019 is a healthy, five pound 13 ounce girl.

Zoelle Gia Bellen was born at 12:42 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2019, 11 days before she was due, father Gary Bellen said.

Gary was at work at around 11 p.m., when he got a call from his wife, who was at a New Year’s Eve party, that she had entered labour.

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“The doctor was laughing, because it was so fast,” Gary said. “At 12:30 we arrived in the hospital. The moment we came out of the elevator, she was shouting that the water broke, and she felt that it was coming. She just laid on the floor, and then the nurse just rushed to her and put her in the wheelchair. And yeah, at 12:42 the baby came out.”

Zoelle’s sister, Zyra, was not such a hasty birth – Bellen says his wife was in labour for eight hours before Zyra was born.

Zoelle, Gary said, is an Arabic name meaning “shining light.”

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter


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