Mississauga couple has Niagara’s first 2023 baby in St. Catharines hospital

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Published January 2, 2023 at 9:23 am

Ella Gabayan and Joseph Ong of Mississauga had no hesitation coming to Niagara Falls for their New Year's Eve fun. But they're leaving town with Niagara's first baby of 2023. (Photo: Niagara Health)

With the due date of their second child still weeks away, Ella Gabayan and Joseph Ong of Mississauga had no hesitation coming to Niagara Falls for their New Year’s Eve fun.

In the end, they drove home with an extra passenger. The Mississauga couple had the first baby born in Niagara Region when their son – no name yet – arrived at 5:30 a.m., weighing just over 5 pounds in the St. Catharines Hospital.

Gabayan said they brought their baby’s hospital bag with them – “just in case” – but felt comfortable enough away from their due date, January 23, that it felt like an over precaution.

“We even spent some of our time in Niagara talking about what I needed to pack in my bag,” she says.

Both Gabayan and Ong managed to stay up to watch the fireworks at midnight. Shortly after the fireworks ended, they headed back to their hotel. A couple of hours later, she woke up with contractions.

They hopped in the car to get back to Mississauga before realizing Gabayan wouldn’t make it so they quickly detoured to the St. Catharines General Hospital.

“Baby Boy” is the little brother to proud big brother Ethan, who is seven-years-old. “I think he was just so excited to see the world,” says Ong of their second son’s early arrival.

Gabayan credits walking up and down Clifton Hill for hours on New Year’s Eve with kick-starting the labour of their new son.

“It still feels surreal,” she says. “Just last night I was watching the fireworks and out having fun, and now I’m holding our baby. It’s amazing.”

Three babies were born at Niagara Health hospitals on January 1.


Mississauga Ella Gabayan and Joseph Ong had their second son – no name yet – at St. Catharines General Hospital on January 1 at 5:30 am, making him Niagara’s first baby of 2023. Due his due date being January 23, they came to Niagara Falls to ring in the new year. (Photo: Niagara Health)

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