New Year's baby

00:15, Jan 01 2014
Parnham family
HAPPY FAMILY: Rebecca and Gareth Parnham welcome baby Ruby, a sister for two-year-old Mae, and the first baby born in Christchurch in 2014.

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.

Rebecca, 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 naturally at Christchurch Women's Hospital at 12.17am, weighing 3.5 kilograms.

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 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.''


The Press