News: The cycle of life

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Published in the May 18 2010 issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


The cycle of life

The babies of two new mothers have made history in Edmonton.

Shanawa Ismayil’s son Baris Ismayil is the first baby to be born at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, while Nadine Kaddoura’s son Hilal was the last to be born at the adjoining Royal Alexandra Hospital.

“We made a little piece of history,” Ismayil said Monday, smiling down at her sleeping baby boy.

“He is officially a Canadian and he was born in this new facility. It means a lot to us. I’m happy that he’s a piece of this.”

Ismayil was in labour while being moved from the Royal Alex to the new Lois Hole Hospital Sunday morning, while Kaddoura gave birth at the old hospital and was later moved to rest at the Lois Hole Hospital.

“Hilal was born at the old hospital, which was awesome because we got to see both the old and the new,” Kaddoura said, with her baby cradled in her arms.

Baby Hilal was born early Sunday morning at 2:45 a.m., while baby Baris was born later that same day at 10:10 a.m.

Ismayil, who wasn’t due until Tuesday, had been telling her doctor during pre-natal classes that she wished she could be the first to give birth in the new building.

“I got my wish,” she smiled. “Actually I got more than one wish.”

The two mothers were part of a group of 56 patients who were moved to the new Lois Hole Hospital. They raved about getting the chance to experience the new facility, which they say is bigger, cleaner and much more comfortable.

“It’s a beautiful place,” Ismayil said.

“It’s really, really great,” said Kaddoura. “It’s like a hotel.”

Kaddoura said the large windows, artwork, spacious bedrooms and excellent staff made her want to give birth again.

“I was kind of thinking just one, but after seeing how nice the delivery went, I’d do it again and I’d do it here, definitely,” she said. “It’s too new, you have to do it here.”

The history-making mothers have exchanged contact information with the hopes of having their boys become friends as they get older.

“He’s got his first playdate,” says Ismayil.

The Lois Hole Hospital for Women officially opened its doors in April. The five-floor, 33,450 square-metre hospital is part of the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s new Robbins Pavilion and contains about 120 beds.

It replaces the Royal Alex’s 60-year-old, 104-bed Women’s Centre, which was getting too small to keep up with patient demand.

Last year, more than 5,000 babies were delivered at the Royal Alex.

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