New year arrivals give parents around the country a special cause for celebration
When Leo Maples entered the world a minute after midnight in Limerick Maternity Hospital, his mother wasn’t thinking about the prospect of him being the first baby of the new year.
“I didn’t know until they told me,” his mother Carmel McNamara said yesterday as she fielded calls from friends, family, well-wishers and journalists.
“He wasn’t due until Tuesday the 8th of January but he decided to come on new year’s.”
Ms McNamara, who already has two daughters – Kelly (9) and Áine (17 months) – said her first boy was named after her father Leo McNamara, who died last January .
Charles Maples, who is originally from Coolock in Dublin but living in Kilmihill in Co Clare, said his son, although only 6lb 10oz, had already caused great upheaval. “The two phones are hopping,” he said.
Cork was also celebrating an early new year’s baby when mother Christina Casey gave birth to a little girl, Lexi, at three minutes past midnight.
Christina and partner Kieran Hodnett – who already have a son Mattie (3) and daughter Izzi (22 months) – were suitably proud of the new arrival, who weighed in at 7lb 6oz.
Midwife manager at Cork University Maternity Hospital, Maria O’Donovan said Lexi was delivered by CUMH staff midwife Mary Newlands, assisted by student midwife Naomi O’Donovan.
“Both mother and baby are doing well,” said Ms O’Donovan.
Sophie Grace Walsh was the first 2013 baby born in Dublin, at 12.17am, weighing 8lb 3oz.
Her parents Joey and Jennifer, from Baldoyle, had not expected that she would be a new year’s baby, given that she was due to arrive on December 18th.
A Christmas baby
“We thought maybe she’d be a Christmas baby,” Mr Walsh said. And that wasn’t the only surprise: the couple had thought the baby would be a boy. Luckily they had agreed on a girl’s name a few days before the birth just in case “he” turned out to be a “she”.
Mr Walsh said yesterday the experience had been “crazy”.
“I went home and got a few hours’ sleep and when I was on my way back in I was listening to the radio hearing about the birth of my baby . . . She’s hogging the limelight already and she’s only a few hours old.”
In Kerry, baby Jack Houlihan was born to Dermot and Kathleen from Tralee at 12.29am, weighing 8lb 7oz. Ms Houlihan said she was “thrilled to bits” and was hopeful that, as the first baby born in Kerry this year, he would grow up to be a county footballer.
In Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, there was something of a rush on: the hospital saw eight babies born in just over 10 hours yesterday.
The first 2013 baby was Kristina, who came into the world at 3.58am to the delight of her mother, Inga Tairova.
Kristina was far from the last, though, with seven other new year’s babies born at the hospital by 2.14pm.