Ireland’s first baby of the new year and the new decade was born in Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital just 12 minutes after midnight.
New mother, Patience Setuke, was delighted with her little girl, Victoria, who weighed 3.23kg (7lb 1oz) when she was born.
Ms Setuke said she was overwhelmed with all the attention she and her baby were getting.
Just ten minutes later, at Cork University Maternity Hospital, Diana Rodrigues got her “perfect gift” when Aida Cheryl Pinto was born.
Aida, Diana’s second child, was in a hurry to come into the world — she was due to arrive on Sunday, January 5.
“All the attention we are getting is overwhelming,” said Diana, a senior phlebotomist at Mercy University Hospital, Cork.
“I will tell Aida that she was a celebrated baby when she grows up,” said Diana.
Diana and her husband, Cyril Pinto, a computer engineer, are originally from India and have been living in Ireland for 14 years.
The couple, who live in Midleton, Co Cork, already have a son, Aidan Pinto, 7, who is delighted to have a little sister to look out for.
At 12.54am at South Tipperary General Hospital, Tina O’Meara and partner, Patrick Barrett, who are engaged to be married welcomed baby Michael Joseph Barrett into the world.
“To say we are over the moon is an understatement,” said Tina, from Cahir, Co Tipperary, who has four children from a previous relationship.
Michael Joseph, who weighed 3.4kg, was expected to arrive earlier — Tina had her labour induced a day later than planned because the maternity ward was so busy.
“My other children have not seen Michael yet. They can’t come in to see him because flu has put the hospital in lockdown,” said Tina.
The children have seen pictures and videos of Michael, and they are so excited. They can’t wait to see him.
Meanwhile, Ashley Barron was “on cloud nine” after delivering “the first little girl to be born in Limerick”.
Ms Barron’s baby girl, who she has yet to name, weighed 2.81kg when she arrived four days early at University Maternity Hospital Limerick (UMHL).
“She was due on the fifth, but she couldn’t wait so she arrived today at 4.33am. She was the first little girl to be born in Limerick.
“She’s as good as gold. She hasn’t said a peeak since she was born, long may it continue, please God!”
Caroline Brady and her partner Derek O’Sullivan, Bodyke, Co Clare, were thrilled after their firstborn, arrived at University Maternity Hospital Limerick at 6.41am, weighing over 4kg. 8lbs 15oz.
The first baby to be born at the hospital had arrived 46 minutes into the new year.
Assistant director of midwifery at UMHL, Mary Tevlin, said: “It’s been a fantastic day so far, and we’ll have plenty more as the day goes on.”
Conor born ‘in the sitting room, beside the Christmas tree’
It was the kind of Christmas present that even caught Santa Claus by surprise.
Lisa O’Donovan was eight days overdue, when her fourth child, Conor, decided he wanted to get in on the act and was born on December 23.
He did not wait for the ambulance to arrive before making his way into the world and was delivered into the waiting arms of his proud dad Brian.
It wasn’t Lisa’s first Christmas baby. Tiernan, 6, was born on December 22 which was his due date and we made it to the hospital with him.”
The couple’s other children are Oisín, 11, and Cathal, 8.
Lisa went into labour at home in Bettystown, Co Meath, around 4pm on December 23. It was agreed she would stay at home until the contractions were five minutes apart.
“We rang the midwife at 9pm and said to expect me sometime during the night.”
Lisa, who is a nurse, lay on the couch in the sitting room. Brian went to help her up an hour later. “Brian helped me up off the couch and the minute I stood up, the contractions just hit me one after the other. It was just like I needed to push straight away. It was unbelievable, it literally just took seconds.”
She told Brian to phone for an ambulance and they put the call on speaker. While Brian gathered towels and a shoe lace, Lisa was moments from delivering her baby.
Three pushes later Brian caught the baby, he was delivered in the sitting room, beside the Christmas tree.
Brian said he couldn’t wait to hear Conor’s first cry.
“When he first came out, he wasn’t crying, I expected him to start crying immediately. After dabbing his face down with the towel, he started crying and I was ‘thank God for that’. I never wanted to hear him scream so much in all my life.”
After a short trip to the hospital, Lisa was allowed home on Christmas Eve, just in time for Santa.