Archie a wee New Year bundle

Gabrielle Samson-Witana (17) with her son Archie, the first baby to be born at Queen Mary in Dunedin in 2019. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Gabrielle Samson-Witana (17) with her son Archie, the first baby to be born at Queen Mary in Dunedin in 2019. Photo: Christine O'Connor
New Year's Eve brought a welcome surprise for a young Balclutha woman who is the first mother to deliver a baby at the Queen Mary Maternity Centre in Dunedin Hospital this year.

Gabrielle Samson-Witana (17) said she had a smooth birth when she welcomed her first child, Archie, in to the world about 2.30am on New Year's Day.

Archie, due last Friday, weighed in at 3.4kg (7 pounds 9 ounces).

Looking exhausted but happy, Ms Samson-Witana was cradling a sleeping Archie on New Year's Day while her mother and other relatives looked on proudly.

Ms Samson-Witana said she knew in advance she was having a boy, and had already bought Archie's toys and clothes.

Having celebrated a birthday shortly before Christmas, Ms Samson-Witana agreed it was special to have a baby born at this time of year.

She went into labour about 4.30pm and was driven up to hospital at 10.30pm on New Year's Eve.

Everything had gone smoothly and she was preparing to be transferred to hospital in Balclutha for a couple of days later in the afternoon.

Fellow first-time mum Amy Warhurst said she had her baby daughter several hours after Ms Samson-Witana, about 5.30am, in the Clutha First Maternity Centre.

She and dad Joe Grant were happy their daughter had finally arrived since she was nine days overdue, Ms Warhurst said.

The baby girl, who has not been given a name yet, was not the only family member to be born on January 1 - she shares her birthday with her maternal grandmother.

The baby weighed 3.9kg (8 pounds 10 ounces) and the birth went ''really well'', Ms Warhurst said.

Other hospitals and maternity centres around Otago and Southland had not reported any babies by late yesterday afternoon.

A staff member at Oamaru Hospital said it was a shame, because it would be nice to ''beat Queen Mary'' for a change.

elena.mcphee@odt.co.nz

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