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Season’s newborns

The past festive season was even brighter as it delivered numerous bundles of joy to expectant parents across the province.

According to provincial health officials, the total number of babies born to families at public health facilities on Christmas Day was 91 (66 boys and 25 girls), with 149 babies (67 boys and 82 girls) welcomed into the world on New Year’s Day.

At Helderberg public health facilities eight little ones were the ultimate gift to their parents on Christmas Day, while six newborns brought priceless cheer on New Year’s Day.

Helderberg Hospital (HH) staff shared in the joy of doting couples who welcomed the new addition of a 2,88 kg baby girl at 06:14 and four bouncing baby boys, with weights of 3,21 kg, 3,95 kg, 2,95 kg and 3,02 kg, at 06:15, 12:07, 09:19 and 18:35, respectively, on Christmas Day. On the same day, three boys weighing in at 2,73 kg, 3,55 kg and 2,97 kg were born at Macassar Community Health Centre, at 08:10, 16:40 and 14:15 respectively.

The facility also assisted with the birth of two New Year’s babies, a 3,28 kg boy born to mom Olwethu Mawu at 03:10 and a 3,15 kg baby girl born to Julie-Ann April at 08:09.

At HH, four bouncing little cuties, one girl and three boys, were brought into the world on the first day of the year.

The healthy baby boy of Rumbidzai Nhipuka (25) from Greenfields was the first of the New Year’s Day arrivals at HH. Little Raah, whose name means “Jehovah is with us”, was born at 02:25 and eagerly welcomed by loving big brother Redeemer. The grateful second-time mom recalled the excitement of her son’s early arrival at 37 weeks, saying: “We are very happy that he is here, with us.” He weighed 2,56 kg.

The birth of young mom Delsa Cossa’s daughter followed at 02:45. The 21-year-old from Blue Downs was elated to welcome the 2,7 kg her cherub two days earlier than expected.

Shameema Arnold (34) from Rusthof was all smiles when holding her fourth child, following his much-anticipated birth at 10:42. The baby boy is the youngest of his siblings, Mika-eel (18), Dhakiyyah (15), Zahra (12) and five-year-old twin sisters, Zainab and Maryam, who are all “over the moon”.

“We now have a full house,” said a proud Arnold, whose labour began on 30 December and gave birth to her 3,01 kg baby after nearly three days.

Arnold is especially thankful to her professional doula, Michelle February, for her unwavering support. The midwife has offered her services as a childbirth companion out of passion for the last 18 years.

Macassar resident Alexa Gordon (37) also welcomed her fourth child and second son at the hospital at 11:45 on New Year’s Day. Little Joshua was born at 42 weeks after surpassing his expected due date of 17 December and weighed in at 3,23 kg. According to Gordon, his name was given by big brother Alex (3) and sisters Kiara and Nikita, all of whom could not wait to shower him with love. “I am very happy with my special baby,” she said.

Mediclinic Vergelegen maternity staff also basked in the delight of the gift of life. Two newborns were delivered on Christmas and three on New Year’s Day.

Debbi de Waal (30) from Somerset West gave birth to Jan Ezra, a family name over seven generations, at 08:57 on Christmas. Given she was 39 weeks pregnant at birth and 40 weeks on New Year’s Day, his birth on a public holiday is hardly surprising, although the plan was for De Waal to undergo an elective Caesarean section on 2 January.

“I had the best Christmas gift and holiday while in hospital,” said De Waal, who looks forward to the experience of raising a boy this time, after two-year-old daughter Grace-Anne, and figuring out how to adapt her parenting style.

Somerset West couple Shireen (33) and Johan Joubert (36) became parents for the first time with the birth of bonny 3,12 kg son Franco Daniel at 21:27 on Christmas. The doting parents were thrilled to welcome their boy weeks before the expected date of 16 January. Franco had to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit owing to his prematurity.

“He truly is a gift from above, and we are at ease with his early arrival – we plan, but God determines,” the new mom said.

“We look forward to the journey with our Franco and being a family.”

Bianca Nkoyi (33) from Asanda Village expressed her joy at being the mother of a New Year’s baby boy, who is part of a pigeon pair.

“My husband has the son to carry on the family name and now I am done,” the overjoyed mother laughed .

Her son, aptly named Athandwa (meaning “we are blessed or loved”), was born after a prolonged pregnancy. He exceeded his due date of 28 December. “I have learnt that patience is a virtue and babies come in their own time, at the right time.”

The life of Juanita Pieterse (29) of Eerste River was enriched by the birth of third daughter Juané, who was expected on Christmas.

The 2,93 kg pink bundle arrived at 11:58 New Year’s Eve following an emergency C-section, the inevitable step following several red flags.

Pieterse planned on naming her daughter Kirsten as she was expected on Christmas, but it is now is her second name.

“My daughter making her debut at New Year means she shares a birthday with her great grandfather and aunt, which is very special,” she said, adding that she looks forward to seeing how her siblings Nikitha (7) and Nehemia (5) interact with their baby sister.

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