Just minutes after the new Stanton Territorial Hospital opened its doors on Sunday, the first expectant parents rushed in.
Shannon Crawley and partner Scott Falshaw parked up at 6:02am – two minutes into the new hospital’s life – and their baby was born at 9:57 that morning.
Casey Crawley, with a stunning shock of blond hair, became the hospital’s first-ever newborn at 7 lb 15 oz.
Parents and baby were doing well when Cabin Radio visited them in Stanton’s new obstetrics unit, in a room overlooking Frame Lake and downtown Yellowknife, on Wednesday morning.
“He was first in line,” joked Shannon. “We feel very lucky that we’ve had such a beautiful, brand-new facility and such a high level of skill with the staff here.”
Shannon and Scott had joked, in the days leading up to Casey’s birth, about what they would do if the baby – initially due on May 21 – was still waiting for his moment during the big transition between the old Stanton and the new facility, on Sunday morning.
“My water broke at 11:30 on Saturday night and we were like, ‘Of course this would happen,'” laughed Shannon.
“We went to the old hospital and started off there. They were great, they did all of things they needed to do, sent us home, and told us when to come back.
“By about 5:30am, I thought, ‘OK, I think we’d better go in.’ We pulled up to the door a couple of minutes after 6am and got the royal welcome.”
Shannon Crawley and Scott Falshaw with their son, Casey. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Shannon was met at the door by a man who, she says, had “a big smile on his face,” as staff working on the transition made way for the couple.
“Once we got here, it was complete calm,” said Shannon. “Everyone was very warm, friendly, calm, and professional, and that made us feel better – as people in an obviously distressed state.”
Other than a couple of moments where staff weren’t sure where to look for things, said Scott, everything went seamlessly.
“There was a bit of scrambling around, trying to find things, but they did a really good job of not letting mom see that side of it. They handled it like pros,” he said.
Asked for comment, Casey – to his parents’ relief – replied: “Zzz.”
“I have so much respect for people who’ve gone through with birth. I had no idea what it would be like. You don’t, until you’re in it,” said Shannon on Wednesday. The parents have had very little sleep since Casey’s historic Sunday arrival.
“I think my most common phrase during the entire process,” she added, “was: ‘I’m never doing this again.'”
That will be music to the ears of the territory’s Department of Finance, which – in order to keep Shannon in the conditions to which she is now accustomed – would need to build a new hospital each time.
Cabin Radio’s reporter got a chance to hang out with Casey. Photo: Scott Falshaw
Shannon thanked the doctor and nurse who helped her on Sunday, saying they were “absolutely amazing,” and – lastly – thanked Casey himself for picking such an auspicious day.
“He was ready to go!” she said. “He didn’t want to wait around too much longer.
“It’s exhausting, but we couldn’t be happier.”