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'Neck and neck race' for first New Year's baby

JOHN BISSET
Last updated 05:00 02/01/2013
Jamie and Brendon Crump
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ

LATEST ADDITION: Jamie and Brendon Crump were not expecting a New Year’s baby. Her due date was December 20. But at 2.43am yesterday their daughter was the first baby to be born in Timaru in the new year. The baby girl, as yet unnamed, is seen here with brother Mytchall, 17 months, and sisters Brooke, 7, and Paige, 3.

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Christmas and New Year are usually busy times for Herald chief photographer JOHN BISSET, with all sorts of special events to be photographed, including the New Year's Eve fireworks at Caroline Bay. But the last night of 2012 took on a more personal urgency for John, with his latest grandchild deciding to put in an appearance. This is his story:

I usually work the Christmas and New Year period which invariably means a trip to the maternity ward to photograph the first Christmas and New Year babies. My daughter, Jamie, and partner Brendon Crump were expecting their fourth child on December 20. I joked that maybe Bubs would arrive a bit late - maybe a Christmas baby? The 20th came and went, as did Christmas Day, and still no sign of a grandchild.

It was New Year's Eve and we were leaving to photograph the firework display. The phone rang; it was Jamie saying she was having contractions. My wife, Marie, had offered to look after their children, Mytchall, Paige and Brooke, when she went to hospital. Jamie said there was no urgent hurry and to give her a call when we had finished at the Bay.

We left immediately after the display but met 10,000 other revellers doing exactly the same thing. It took longer than expected to navigate through the other 1800 cars entering Evans St on their way home. By the time we got home and rang she was more than ready to leave.

Brendon drove her to hospital but as fate would have it there was a bit of a queue in the birthing room. Obstetrician Albert Makary said, "It was a neck and neck race to have the first New Year's baby with three expectant mothers arriving within 30 minutes of each other".

If it was a race, my daughter won. The two birthing units were full, but with the help of Dr Makary she gave birth in a side room at 2.43am - a wee girl weighing 3.69 kilograms (8lb 14oz).

"It was a very busy night but quite uncivilised with three in labour at the same time," Dr Makary said. "We had births at 2.43am, 5.26am and 7am. It was a very happy outcome."

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- The Timaru Herald

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