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Accidental Canadian: Parents planned to have daughter in New York, born in Halifax instead

Rajiv Kapoor holds his baby daughter Kendra, the first baby born in Nova Scotia in 2020, at the IWK Health Centre on Wednesday afternoon. Kapoor's partner Belinda Doku gave birth to Kendra at 12:42 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Rajiv Kapoor holds his baby daughter Kendra, the first baby born in Nova Scotia in 2020, at the IWK Health Centre on Wednesday afternoon. Kapoor's partner Belinda Doku gave birth to Kendra at 12:42 a.m. Wednesday morning. - Ryan Taplin
HALIFAX, N.S. —

Tiny Kendra Kapoor was supposed to be American.

Instead, she’s a Nova Scotian, and one of the first babies born in Canada in 2020.

The proud parents, Rajiv Kapoor and Belinda Doku, are originally from Ghana but have been living in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for several years. Doku works for Emirates Airlines, and Kapoor is a metal artist who works in construction.

The couple planned to have their second baby born in New York City, where they had their first daughter. They have family there and appreciate the support and help in the few months with a newborn.

They were visiting family in the U.S. at the end of December and thought they had enough time (with a due date of Jan. 3) to pop up to Nova Scotia for a few days. They wanted to visit a cousin who lives in Bedford and attend a New Year’s Eve birthday party.

But Doku experienced some Braxton Hicks contractions on Monday, and it was the first clue her daughter might be early. She saw a doctor in Bedford who told her the baby could come any time.

“Right after supper (Tuesday) it was so bad. I would scream every time with the contraction,” Doku said from her hospital bed at the IWK Health Centre on New Year’s Day.  “We left home and came here at 12:30 a.m. and I delivered at 12:42 a.m.”

Her water broke in the parkade, and she was pushing while being rolled down the hallway to a delivery room.

At the time, battling the pain, Doku neither noticed nor cared the clock had ticked over to a new year.

“I was just screaming and howling. I didn’t care.”

Kendra Kikey Kapoor came roaring into the world, welcoming the new year to the cheers and shouts of the staff in the birthing unit. She weighed 8 lb and 12.5 ounces and shares a middle name with her dad.

“I’m so excited,” Doku said about being the mother of the New Year’s baby.

Kapoor’s birthday is Dec. 31 so they thought their daughter might be born on her father’s birthday.

“I was like, ‘yours is not a big deal because it’s New Year’s Eve, but she is New Year’s,’” Doku said. “This is better.”

Their plans are now completely changed. Doku said she’s going to stay for several weeks to get all the vaccines Kendra needs.

Only hours after giving birth, the family was astonishingly receptive to being interviewed. With a few laughs at the wonder of it all, they were happy to share their story. They said it seemed their daughter was meant to be Canadian.

“I wasn’t even supposed to come on this trip and I was going to meet her in New York,” said Kapoor. “The flight was canceled so I came here on (Dec.) 26…

“It’s all in God’s plans”

This year's first new year's baby may have been born in Laval, Que., where Henri was born to Amelie Bouchard and Marc-Andre Baillargeon just 32 seconds into the New Year, according to l’Hopital de la Cite-de-la-Sante.

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