Blessing, surprise in one small bundle

Meet Wellington's first baby for 2014

Last updated 12:18 02/01/2014
new year baby
CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ

WELCOME NEWS: Johnsonville couple Toma Fa'alemiga and Henrietta Fatialofa welcome Wellington's first new year baby, Nu'ulopa Fa'alemiga, into the world yesterday.

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The arrival of a firstborn baby girl has been a blessing and a surprise for a Johnsonville couple who did not think they could conceive.

Baby Nu'ulopa Fa'alemiga was the first new year baby born in the capital, and was delivered by caesarean section at Wellington Hospital at 12.18am yesterday, weighing 3.43 kilograms (7lb 9oz).

"I was a bit shocked she was the first new year baby because she wasn't due until January 13," mum Henrietta Fatialofa said.

"It's a nice surprise because we didn't know what we were having - every time we had a scan she had her legs crossed or she was sitting on her bottom."

Nu'ulopa's birth came after a hard year for the extended family - 25 of whom were at the hospital to welcome their new relative, including proud dad Toma Fa'alemiga.

"We truly believe beginning the new year with a baby is blessing from my mum and dad," Ms Fatialofa's older sister, Lisa, said.

The sisters lost their mother 15 years ago and their father in late 2012. As a final gift, their father Eneliko gave the couple a girl's name and a boy's name to choose from just before he died of bowel cancer.

The first baby of the new year was a girl called Mary, born in Auckland at 12.01am and weighing 2.66kg. Ten minutes later, Oliver George Merola was born at Waikato Hospital, weighing 2.74kg.

Proud first-time parents Sian and Joe Merola said family back home in Wales managed to celebrate the birth as well as the new year, because of the time difference.

"At about ten to 12 they said you're fully dilated and the fireworks started," Mrs Merola said.

"We said 'Happy New Year! Now push,' " her husband said.

Christchurch's first baby, Ruby Parnham, was born at Christchurch Women's Hospital at 12.17am, weighing 3.5kg.

"It will be, 'That's your Christmas present and your birthday present.' Poor wee thing," said her mother, Rebecca Parnham.

Hawke's Bay's first baby of 2014 was Ruby Lornabella Bright, who arrived at 6.45am and weighed 2.94kg.

By yesterday afternoon, Wairarapa was still waiting on its first arrival.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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