Laurie-Ann Lines and her partner Shaun Anderson were beaming this week after delivering the first baby of 2021 at Stanton Territorial Hospital on Jan. 1.
Denendeh-Rose Margaret Anderson came into the world on New Year’s Day at 8:25 p.m. Both mother and father, though admittedly sleep-deprived, couldn’t contain their excitement in an interview Monday after the baby arrived at a “pretty tall” 54 cm and at a weight of eight pounds and 15 ounces.
Lines, 32, is a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, a PhD candidate with the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta and a Canadian Vanier Scholar.
Anderson, 39, of Cree descent and raised Metis, is from Alberta and studies in the Indigenous Media program at Blue Quills University in St. Paul, Alta.
“It has been really great here and we were so surprised that nobody had had a baby yet because it was so late (on New Years’ Day),” Lines said, laughing from her hospital room.
“They kept telling us that we were a strong contender for the New Years baby because nobody else had been here in labour yet.”
Both gave glowing reviews of their care at Stanton since Lines was admitted on Jan. 1.
“The staff here have been amazing and so helpful,” Lines said. “During the delivery and each time the staff changed, it was always the perfect team that was there for the moment.
“It is hard to believe especially during Covid-19 that the team was so great. Even the janitors cleaned so appropriately and everybody was amazing and at their best.”
Both Lines and Anderson said that the name Denendeh-Rose Margaret has special significance to them both as she is named after both of their mothers.
The Denendeh portion of her name was “suggested by a family member,” Lines explained and acknowledges the importance of the land.
“We found that our baby, when we called out ‘Denendeh’ to her, that is what she responded to three times.”
The Rose portion of the name was designated to the memory of Anderson’s late mother.
“We always knew Rose was going to be part of her name because it was my late mom’s name who passed away last year,” Anderson said. “Less than five months after that we found out we were pregnant.”
Anderson said he was especially happy to learn that it was a little girl.
“I always knew it was going to be a girl ever since she had been expecting,” he said.
“We’re extremely happy our little angel is here.”