First baby of the new year born on stroke of midnight

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 January, 2011, 12:00am

Helping other women give birth is very much a part of the daily routine for midwife Noella Tsang.

But she was taken by surprise when her own baby arrived four days early to become Hong Kong's first birth of 2011 on the stroke of midnight.

Doctors at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei confirmed that Tsang's boy - who has not yet been given a name - was the first of the year.

Her husband, Ivan Tsang, a doctor who works on the internal medicine wards of Caritas Medical Centre in Sham Shui Po, captured the happy moment on a video camera.

'Sometimes I didn't know if I should film my wife or the baby. It's magical. The two of us went into the hospital, and three of us will be leaving it. I can't describe this feeling,' he said.

The baby, which weighed in at 2.71kg, was expected on January 5.

As both parents are in the medical profession, they had considered theirs and the baby's needs for the big day way ahead of time.

'I figured out what would be the best delivery method. Because I have a small body it made me worry whether I would have a smooth delivery,' the new mum said.

She needn't have worried - the birth was natural, smooth and only slightly earlier than scheduled.

'I'm very happy that he was born on January 1 of 2011. A new year means a good beginning, and my baby is the best gift to celebrate it,' she said.

And the boy is not the only lucky child in town. Two were born in United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong minutes later.

A boy surnamed Man was born at seven minutes past midnight, and a girl surnamed Yip at 10 minutes past.

By 6am yesterday, eight babies had been born in public hospitals in 2011. But Hongkongers will have to get cracking to beat the statistics for births. In 2009, a total of 82,100 babies were born in the city. That roughly equates to 224 babies a day.