New year arrival turns up just in time for the party
ONE IN A HUNDRED: Hugh and Natalie Ekin-Smyth hold Annabel Grace, who was born a minute into the centenary year. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
A girl should know how to make an entrance and Annabel Ekin-Smyth made hers at 12.01am on New Year's Day.
The first child of Hugh and Natalie Ekin-Smyth was born five days late at Calvary Hospital, just in time to become Canberra's first baby of the centenary year.
''My brother had predicted she would arrive at 12.08am on New Year's Day,'' Mr Ekin-Smyth said.
Hughes couple Mario and Maria Spralja welcome daughter Gabriella on New Years Day. Photo: Karleen Minney
''He wasn't far off.
''But we were all a bit surprised that she arrived at the time she did.''
Mrs Ekin-Smyth, from Latham, said her daughter was originally due on Boxing Day but she was happy she had waited for the new year instead.
''We're just so happy she wasn't born on Christmas Day,'' she said.
''It's amazing, incredible.
''We let all our friends and family know during the night - I think we missed the happy new year bit, we were just so excited to announce the baby.
''It's very exciting for us and a great keepsake for her.''
At the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, Maria and Mario Spralja welcomed their first child, Gabriella, at 3.48am.
''I made a stir-fry at 7.30 and then it all started to happen,'' Mrs Spralja said. ''At first I didn't even realise they were labour pains.''
The Hughes resident said she avoided a Caesarean section in favour of a natural birth for the breech baby.
''There's a lot of negative sentiment about natural birth for breech babies,'' she said.
''We weren't too keen on a C-section and we spoke to the registrar and he was very encouraging of a natural birth.
''We're privileged in a First World country, they can monitor the birth and do an emergency C-section if necessary.''
Tuesday also marked the first day of the federal government's dad and partner pay to allow working fathers to take time off when their child is born.
The scheme gives eligible fathers and same-sex partners two weeks pay at the national minimum wage.
"For many self-employed dads, contractors and casual workers, this will be the first time they'll have access to any paid paternity leave,'' Families Minister Jenny Macklin said. ''It will give them some extra support to take time off to bond with their baby and help mum recover from the birth.''