From the moment I received our December 31st “guesstimated due date,” I remember hoping that our baby would not be born on a holiday. Understanding that these dates are just general guesses, I knew that she could possibly arrive on Christmas Day, New Year’s, that time in between where no one knows what day it is or even two weeks after that. Truthfully, my aversion to having a holiday baby was simply that I wanted her to feel special on her day of birth and not overshadowed by a holiday. I let my mind wander to all the cons that come with being a holiday baby: combined gifts, others forgetting her birthday, no school celebration, and the thought that it would somehow make her birthday less magical. Needless to say, we don’t have much control over the spontaneous arrival of our babies, and so I surrendered to the knowledge that she would choose her day when the stars aligned for her.
Those last weeks of any pregnancy are always spent in anticipation of your baby’s arrival. The final countdown. Christmas had passed and it now begged the question of whether baby would make her appearance in 2020 or 2021. I knew then and there that my girl would always keep me on my toes. I went into active labor on New Year’s Eve at exactly 40 weeks. Instead of counting down to the end of the year, we counted down our contractions. We welcomed 2021 at the birth house, just me, my husband, and our midwife. The whole world felt quiet as I roared and breathed through my posterior baby contractions. All night, as people celebrated with their loved ones, we waited to meet our little love. That New Year’s Eve looked different from all others; it was wilder, more tiring, more exhilarating and the longest all-nighter I have ever experienced. It even included a POP and a spray from my amniotic fluid to ring in 2021. Not your typical champagne showers.
I labored throughout that whole blurry night and it felt as though I was inching my way into the New Year. My last stretches of hardship as I trudged my way through trying to get to the other side to the year 2021. When I felt that intense pressure that could only signal transition, my sleepy fog washed over me and I was filled with a new energy. It was then that I noticed the sun pouring in through the windows, revealing a fresh blanket of snow outside. I’ll never forget that light in the room. I was finally out of the shadows: the shadows of my long labor, my hard pregnancy, and all that was the year of 2020. That light, I knew, was going to guide me across the bridge from maiden to mother. At that moment, I realized my baby had chosen to make her entrance on the most perfect and magical day of all.
Now as we near the closing of 2021 and her first turn around the sun, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have a new meaning for our family that far exceeds resolutions. It will now forever be a remembrance of my entrance into motherhood, and a celebration of all her growth. I imagine us weaving our own special rituals for her birthday; whispering “happy birthday” to her first and foremost, when everyone else shouts “happy new year.” I imagine us replacing resolutions with reflections of her year passed and envisioning her year to come. There may still be some downfalls to being a holiday baby, but every year when that clock strikes midnight, I’ll be sure to retell the story of her birth and the magic that fulfilled it.
What to know about New Year Babies:
New Year babies are earthy Capricorns that are said to be extra lucky, have a green thumb, and be extremely fertile. All facets of big abundance. In many places around the world, the first baby of the Year is celebrated in the news, or even compensated with gifts. There are a few paths to explore the spiritual significance of a birthday as well, like astrological readings. We used Cardology, a system that uses your date of birth to reveal in-depth maps of personality, karmic relations, and life paths. January 1st is a King of Spades, the last and most powerful card in the deck. Those born on Jan. 1st are inclined toward tremendous success, spiritual ascension and have a strong capacity for leadership.
Natasha Lappos is a Mama Glow Birth and Postpartum Doula trainee. Born and raised in Montréal, Natasha has been living in Shanghai for the last 5 years teaching yoga, facilitating Reiki, guiding women’s circles, and catering celebrations with her grazing tables. Natasha is presently relocated with her family in Canada, where she is dedicated to supporting birthing people and nurturing their postpartum healing.
You can follow her Doula and Motherhood journey on Instagram @birthblissandbeyond!