The tiny tot came into the world at exactly 35 seconds past midnight yesterday, making her the first baby to be born in Ireland in 2012.
Little Amelie was born at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin and weighed in at a healthy seven pounds five ounces, much to the delight of her mum and dad, first-time parents Neil and Catriona Mitchell from Churchtown, Dublin.
But there was excitement in labour wards right across the country as the first hour of the new year broke. Baby Amelie barely had time to draw her first breath when her first arrival rival appeared at Waterford Regional Hospital.
Parents Amy and Gerard Mitchell welcomed the new addition to their family, a baby boy weighing six pounds three ounces, at two minutes past midnight.
Fifteen minutes later back in Dublin, the Coombe Women’s Hospital saw its first arrival in the shape of a five pounds and five ounces baby boy, born at 0.17am.
While little Reece may have been the hospital’s first, it was a familiar experience for mum, Jennifer Dowman, who already has five boys aged 11 to 3 at home in Jobstown, Dublin, ready to play with their new little brother.
Also in Dublin, baby Elsie Ann Tumulty became the first newborn of 2012 for the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street when she appeared at 26 minutes past midnight. The little girl, the daughter of Nikki Mitchell and Ian Tumulty, weighed in at six pounds and nine ounces.
One of the earliest Munster babies was a little girl born in Kerry General Hospital. Baby Sophie Kate arrived at 12.38am weighing six pounds and eleven ounces.
In the west of the country, a new Galway girl was first to arrive in the shape of baby Anna Finlay who was born at University College Hospital Galway at 12.41am, weighing seven pounds and seven ounces.
Cork’s first newborn took a more laid back approach to the new year’s deadline. Little Grace O’Brien, born to Deirdre and Andrew O’Brien from Carrigaline, came into the world at 2.51am, weighing six pounds and eight ounces.
The new babies signal the start of another busy year for the country’s maternity hospitals which have been dealing with record birth numbers in recent times.
Last year saw an average of 202 babies born every single day, and while the total of 73,724 was a small reduction on the 2009 numbers which were also down on the 113-year high of 75,065 born in 2008, numbers in 2012 are still expected to be substantially higher than they were in the mid-2000s when around 65,000 was the annual norm.