It took a little longer than usual, but a New Year’s baby for 2023 has been born at the Meadow Lake Hospital.

Kix Raymond Croteau, the son of Ashley and Rae Croteau of Rapid View, was born Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 8:42 a.m. He was born via Caesarian section and weighed seven pounds, one ounce at birth. Kix is a younger brother to his two-year-old sister, Hadley.

“It was exciting to learn Kix was the Meadow Lake Hospital’s New Year’s baby considering it was already Jan. 11,” Ashley Croteau remarked. “It was pretty cool, though.”

What wasn’t exciting, however, was the undisclosed emergency that arose shortly after Kix was born that resulted in him being transported to a hospital in Saskatoon.

“He’s since had his surgery and he’s good to go,” Croteau told Northern Pride when interviewed last week. “We’re all good and are on our way home.”

For being the first baby born at the hospital this year, Kix and his family were presented with a care package from the Meadow Lake Kinettes.

Kix was delivered by the Meadow Lake Hospital’s chief of staff Dr. Gavin Van de Venter along with Dr. Aimee Seguin.

“We are extremely thankful for the Meadow Lake Hospital staff, both for their efforts during the delivery and their quick response to get us to Saskatoon and the help we needed,” Croteau said. “The staff in Meadow Lake are extremely well trained and they all know what they’re doing. It’s a very safe and caring environment.”

According to Van de Venter, a big reason why it took as long as it did for the Meadow Lake Hospital to welcome a New Year’s baby has to do with an ongoing nursing shortage at the facility.

In a recent interview, Van de Venter said the nursing shortage has resulted in the obstetrical department in Meadow Lake being closed some days, although he still encourages expectant mothers to visit the local hospital for an evaluation when they are experiencing labour or if they believe they are having complications.

“We aren’t doing as many (deliveries) as we used to, but we’re still doing deliveries,” he noted. ‘As we ramp up our efforts to recruit, we are hoping the situation will stabilize. This is a priority at the moment.”

by Phil Ambroziak