A new year means new beginnings.

And that couldn’t be more true for two families in Waterloo Region who welcomed new babies on New Year’s Day.

The first was little Grayson Cressman at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. He was born at 2:38 a.m., weighing in at 6 lbs and 9 oz.

His arrival was later than his parents expected.

Mom Ashley Albright says her original due date was December 30.

“After my mom convinced me that I was truly in labour, everything happened so fast. We didn’t know if it was going to be a New Year’s Eve party or New Year’s Day party, but he held off to the new year.”

Albright and partner Connor Cressman were hoping Grayson would wait until 2021.

“He was cutting it pretty close, but we made it.”

Albright says it was a memorable experience giving birth during a pandemic.

“Everyone was really great. It was definitely an experience to deliver a child with a mask on. It added a new dimension, not that I’ve given birth without a mask on, but it was interesting. We had our own private room. We’re just hanging out just the three of us.”

A few hours later there was another new arrival, this time at Grand River Hospital in Kitchener.

Selin Sinar was born at 6:01 a.m., weighing 7 lbs. and 6.5 oz.

“She surprised us and decided to come on New Year’s Day.”

Like Grayson, Selin was due several days before, on December 28.

Her parents, Paulina Nyarko and Dogan Sinar, were also hoping she’d wait a few days longer.

“2020 was quite the year, so we are hoping to start with fresh new beginnings in 2021. She listened to her mommy and she came in 2021, so that just made me very, very, very happy.”

Due to pandemic protocols, little Selin won’t get to meet her two-year-old sister for another few days.

“On Sunday, she’ll get to meet the baby that we’ve been talking about,” says mom Paulina. “She knows there’s a baby somewhere, but she’ll finally be able to put a face to the baby.”

Paulina says she’s extra thankful for the healthcare workers who helped her through her delivery.

“The nurse who was with me, she was absolutely amazing.”

Both families are happy for a fresh start to the new year.