New Zealand's first babies of 2014

Last updated 16:35 01/01/2014
Oliver George Merola with parents Joe and Sian Merola.
Proud dad Toma Fa’alemiga holds new baby Nu’ulopa Fa’alemiga with mother Henrietta Fatialofa.
Rebecca Parnham with New Year's baby, Ruby, and Mae, 2 years 2 months.
Olivia Adams and Nick Jenkins with newborn Logan Jenkins.

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As fireworks exploded and screams of Happy New Year rang out, some parents had an extra special reason for celebrations.

Auckland parents welcomed the first baby into New Zealand in 2014.

Mary was crowned the first baby born this year after arriving at 12.01am and weighing 2.66 kilograms. Her parents declined to speak to the media.

A minute earlier and Mary would have lost the honoured title to a Waikato baby, Oliver George Merola.

Oliver wasn't supposed to be born until February, but at least he got the year right.

He was born ten minutes into the New Year at Waikato Hospital making him the country's second new face of 2014.

Proud first-time parents Sian and Joe Merola said family back home in Wales managed to celebrate the birth as well as New Year celebrations due to the time difference.

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

"We said Happy New Year! Now push," Mr Merola said.

Oliver is 2.47kg and will stay in hospital for a while to put on some weight.

In Christchurch, Ruby Parnham faces a lifetime of joint Christmas and birthday presents following her New Year's Day birth.

''It will be, 'That's your Christmas present and your birthday present'. Poor wee thing,'' said her mother, Rebecca Parnham, recovering at Burwood Hospital this morning.

Ruby - Christchurch's first baby in 2014 - began her grand entry into the world about 3.30pm yesterday when her mother went into labour.

Parnham, 34, of Burwood, rang her husband, Gareth, at work with the news.

The 37-year-old landscaper threw down his tools and rushed home.

''Everything is still lying there,'' he said.

Rebecca said they went to Christchurch Women's Hospital about 9pm, but not before putting their two-year-old to bed.

''I would have a contraction and [Mae] would just rub me and say, 'That's okay Mama'. She knew what was going on.''

Ruby was born at Christchurch Women's Hospital at 12.17am, weighing 3.5 kilograms.

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She and her mother were transferred to Burwood Hospital about 5am.

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) communications advisor Donovan Ryan said the majority of Christchurch babies were born at Christchurch Women's Hospital.

While there could have been an earlier home birth, he said wee Ruby was the CDHB's first in 2014.

Rebecca Parnham said she was in labour with Mae for four days, and she was born by Caesarean section, so her second daughter's birth ''was a nice change''.

''I'm really proud that I managed to have a natural birth. It's kind of like a badge of honour,'' she said.

Hospital staff informed Rebecca and Gareth of Ruby's first-in status soon after she was born.

''I thought, 'Nah, surely someone else has had a baby by now'. You have just got no concept of time.''

Rebecca said Ruby would be the last of their brood.

''I was screaming at Gareth, 'Never again!' This is it. Gosh, it's a nice feeling.''

At Wellington Hospital, baby Nu'ulopa Fa'alemiga was delivered at 12.18am by Caesarean section, weighing 3.43 kilograms. 

''I was a bit shocked she was the first new year baby because she wasn't due until January 13. 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,'' said 32-year-old first time mum Henrietta Fatialofa.

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," said Fatialofa's older sister, Lisa.

Olivia Adams and Nick Jenkins are also beginning the New Year with a new life.

Timaru couple welcomed their first child, Logan, in the early hours of New Years day.

Logan is the first baby born at Timaru Hospital in 2014, and made his way into the world by forceps delivery at 1:44am, weighing 3.4kg.

He was due on December 24, but his parents were pleased to have bought some time between Christmas and his birthday.

''He shouldn't have to have combined Christmas and birthday presents now,'' Jenkins said.

Logan was given his name in memory of a family friend who died in his twenties.

"He came into my mind when we were thinking of names," Jenkins said.

- National


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