'He's our little Kiwi'
Wee Oliver the Waikato's first baby of 2014MATT BOWEN
Labouring mother Sian Merola could hear the New Year's fireworks as she pushed her and husband Joe's first child into the world at Waikato Hospital.
Ten minutes later, Oliver George Merola became the region's first new face of 2014.
"He's our little Kiwi," Mrs Merola said, while cradling Oliver in a maternity ward bed yesterday.
The 26-year-old was induced on the 30th, but labour didn't start in earnest until 6pm on New Year's Eve.
"At about ten to 12 they said you're fully dilated and the fire works started," Mrs Merola said.
"I couldn't see [the fireworks] - I had my eyes closed and my mind on other things but I could hear them."
Mr Merola said: "Happy New Year - now push!"
Oliver arrived five weeks early at 12.10am. He weighed in at 2.47 kilograms.
He was the first baby born in the region for 2014.
Oliver is healthy but "he needs to get fatter", Mrs Merola said, so they'll stay in hospital for a spell.
She's hoping he inherited his Dad's appetite.
Mr Merola work's at Waikato Hospital's neurosurgery department and Mrs Merola is a general practitioner.
They immigrated to New Zealand from Wales nearly four years ago and now call Hamilton home. Mrs Merola said she was glad Oliver was born in 2014 because that's the year he was due.
"I thought it would be a bit cheeky of him to come a whole year early - just that little bit of difference made a mental boost for me."
Family back in Wales were delighted at the news.
The birth also dovetailed nicely with pre-New Year celebrations there due to the time difference.
"It'll be a nice party season next year," Mrs Merola said.
"I'm certainly looking forward to next Christmas and New Year. It'll be a little more pleasurable for me than this year was."