Paulatuk mom delivers N.W.T.'s first baby of 2018 away from home

Baby Tara Edith Rose Haogak-Green will go home Friday to meet her father and two brothers.

Baby Tara Edith Rose Haogak-Green will leave Inuvik on Friday to meet her father and 2 brothers

Tara Edith Rose Haogak-Green was the first baby born in the Northwest Territories in 2018. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

A mom from Paulatuk delivered the Northwest Territories' first baby of the new year in Inuvik.

Jessica Haogak had been at Inuvik Regional Hospital since Dec. 1. Expectant moms from small communities throughout the territory must travel to Yellowknife or Inuvik to deliver their babies.

Haogak went into labour at about 3 a.m. on New Year's Day. Though the baby's due date was Christmas day, Haogak says baby Tara was waiting for the new year.

"She didn't want to be the last baby born on 2017, so she wanted to be the first baby born of 2018 in the N.W.T.," Haogak laughed.

Mom Jessica Haogak with baby Tara. Haogak is from Paulatuk, but delivered the baby in Inuvik. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Tara Edith Rose Haogak-Green is Haogak's third child, but her first daughter, which was a surprise.

"I started crying," says Haogak of when she found out it was a girl.

Baby hasn't met dad, brothers

Haogak says she's excited to bring her daughter home to Paulatuk on Friday, so Tara can meet her father and two big brothers. Though Haogak says she was surrounded by family and friends when she gave birth, her husband and young boys had to stay behind in Paulatuk.

"He called at the right time," Haogak says of her husband. "He called about 10 minutes after she was born."

The new mom says she received lots of gifts from local organizations to celebrate the territory's first baby of the year.

Baby Tara's due date was Christmas Day, but her mother says she held out to be the New Year's baby. (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

Dr. Patrick Laflèche says this was his first time delivering a New Year's baby.

"I'm very grateful and very happy to be a part of this baby's birth and that special moment in a family's life," he said.

"Mainly it makes me proud that we do have a very active obstetrics program and that we are able to offer deliveries to moms to the Inuvik region and the surrounding communities."

According to the health department, Tara is the first and only baby born in the N.W.T. on New Year's Day 2018; there was a baby born in Yellowknife on Jan. 2 at 12:15 a.m.

With files from Mackenzie Scott