Young Liem in a hurry to be in first

Dunedin's first baby of 2018, Liem Bowden-Vu, with sister Maia Bowden-Vu (1), father Nick Bowden (38) and mother Hien Vu (37) at the Queen Mary Maternity Centre at Dunedin Hospital. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Dunedin's first baby of 2018, Liem Bowden-Vu, with sister Maia Bowden-Vu (1), father Nick Bowden (38) and mother Hien Vu (37) at the Queen Mary Maternity Centre at Dunedin Hospital. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Liem Bowden-Vu was in no hurry to be anywhere but his cot, relaxing quietly, yesterday afternoon.

Less than 24 hours earlier, there was no stopping him.

His mum, Hien Vu, said she had been out for a walk on John Wilson Ocean Dr on New Year's Day with her husband, Nick Bowden, and their daughter, Maia Bowden-Vu (1), and when she arrived home about 4pm, she unexpectedly went into labour.

At 6.19pm, Liem was born, making him the first baby born at the Queen Mary Maternity Centre at Dunedin Hospital for 2018.

''It happened very quickly,'' Mrs Vu said.

''He's 12 days early. We weren't expecting him to come this early.''

She said Liem's arrival was so unexpected, her mother had missed it because she was travelling from Vietnam to New Zealand when it happened.

She was expecting to help her daughter prepare for the birth. Instead, she would be greeted by a new grandson, Mrs Vu said.

You would think parenting would be a breeze the second time around, but Mr Bowden said he was surprised at how much he had already forgotten since Maia was born.

Both parents were still a little rattled after their experience on New Year's Day.

''Liem's looking pretty chilled now ... but yesterday!

''He might be one of those kids that's always running around - we'll be chasing him everywhere.''

Despite the experience, both said it was the perfect way to start the new year.

''We've got one of each now. We've got the perfect family,'' Mr Bowden said.

When asked if their family was now big enough, both laughed nervously.

''We'll see what happens,'' he said.

Rex Lu was the first New Zealand baby born in 2018.

He was born at 12.01am on New Year's Day at Auckland Hospital to parents Chien Cheng Lu and Ena Lu.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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