Abu Dhabi, UAE: Maha El Sayed’s little boy entered the world two minutes after the UAE entered 2014.
And down the hall in the Burjeel Hospital, Jameela Forkan welcomed her little girl two minutes later.
Neither the boy nor his younger neighbour, wrapped in a blanket of hearts and teddies, seemed particularly concerned about the special birthday they shared.
“The proud parents are very excited about the new members to their family,” said Veenu Sreedharan, assistant manager of marketing at the hospital.
The parents have not yet named the boy, who weighed 1.83 kilograms, or the girl, who was 3.2kg.
By 10am on Wednesday three babies had been delivered at the Corniche Hospital in the capital – a boy and two girls.
While there was no announcement of which was the first of the new year in the emirate, Abdulla Al Mazroui was born nine minutes past midnight.
Proud but weary mother Fatema Al Mazroui, 25, of Abu Dhabi, cradled her new son as he wriggled in his white and grey baby suit and matching hat.
Fatema said she named her first son, who weighed 4.13kg, Abdulla because it was her father’s favourite name.
She arrived at the hospital just after 9pm on New Year’s Eve and, although the birth was difficult, she said it was worth it for her beautiful baby boy and all the more special because of his birth date.
“It was difficult but it turned out good in the end,” Ms Al Mazroui said.“I am very happy and glad my baby is OK and healthy.
She gazed lovingly at her newborn and added: “I am very pleased. It is a special day.”
Ms Al Mazroui’s mother Sharefa Al Ansari was by her daughter’s side and was glowing with pride at the latest addition to the family – her ninth grandchild.
“I am very happy,” she said.
A couple of floors higher, Safeya Al Obaida cradled her newborn, who was the first girl to be born at the Corniche Hospital for the year.
Mezha Al Marzouqi was born at 2.27am, weighing 3.1kg.
Ms Al Obaida, 25, an Emirati from Abu Dhabi, said her due date was January 2 so when she was told she would have an emergency caesarean on Wednesday it came as a surprise.
“I was excited,” she said. “It was a nice surprise.”
It is Ms Al Obaida’s second baby girl and she said her first-born Amna, 2, was looking forward to meeting her new sister.
“She has been very excited about it,” she said. “She has not been able to sleep. When I was in pain and she knew it was time she was so excited.”
Mezha’s proud father Syed Al Marzouqi took hold of his baby daughter as she wiggled her toes and fingers in her pink blanket and colourful polka dot suit.
“I am very proud and very happy,” said the Abu Dhabi Municipality employee who had spent the night at the hospital.
Across the hall, Durar Al Jaunabi was the third baby and second girl to be delivered at the hospital, arriving at 7.18am.
Weighing 3.79kg and wrapped snugly in a cream blanket and a baby suit adorned with flowers, Durar is Abu Dhabi couple Wafa Al Jaunabi and Mohammed Al Jaunabi’s sixth child and second daughter.
Ms Al Jaunabi, 32, an Emirati, had known the gender of her baby but kept it as a surprise from her children.
She said Durar was a gift from above. “From God I had a New Year’s Day baby.”
About 8,000 babies were born at the Corniche Hospital last year, said Roxy Fulton, the hospital’s nursing co-ordinator.
The start of this year was an unusually quiet spell at the maternity hospital after a busier New Year’s Eve when 18 babies were delivered.
Ms Fulton said the new mums, while understandably tired, were all pleased to have delivered on New Year’s Day.
“It is always special and it is a lovely date of birth,” she said.
“Having a baby on this day is an additional celebration. It is a new year and they have a new baby.”
© The NationalJan 2014