AFTER 35 hours in labour, Limerick mum Edel Kennedy was relieved and delighted to finally welcome her little boy into the world in the early hours of New Year’s day.
Her first son Kyle was born at 00.45am on the first day of the new year, weighing 11 pounds and one ounce – the biggest baby born in the hospital that day.
“It was worth it,” said 31-year-old mum Edel, who was admitted to the hospital on Friday night, and gave birth on Monday morning.
She was not expecting her little boy to be the first birth in Limerick in 2012, as she was due to be born closer to Christmas.
She and husband Jeremy Kennedy, 36, from Bruff and Charleville respectively, already have a daughter Michaela, aged two and a half years.
Speaking from the hospital ward on New Year’s Day, the couple said they were looking forward to going home to Bruff with their new bundle of joy - and hopefully getting a few hours sleep.
Out of the thousands of babies delivered in the 103-bed Maternity hospital on the Ennis Road, two days always stand out in the minds of nursing staff - Christmas day and New Year’s Day.
A total of 5,176 babies were born in the local maternity hospital last year. Deliveries in the hospital, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, can range from 10 to 21 in a 24-hour period.
“It has been a challenging and busy year, with reducing staff numbers, but this is always a highlight of the year and a happy day. All the mums and babies are doing absolutely fine,” said Margaret Quigley, assistant director of nursing and midwifery at the Maternity.
Seven babies were born throughout new year’s day in the Maternity, while nine babies were born there on Christmas day. Among them was baby Gearoid O’Callaghan, born to Therese and Garrett, pictured opposite, who celebrated the birth with her little daughters Meave and Aine.
Baby Kyle was followed into the world on New Year’s Day by another baby boy in Limerick, born to mum Grace Broderick from the Fr Russell Road on 10.28am. But the very first baby of the new year was Amelie Rose Mitchell in Dublin’s Rotunda hospital, born 35 seconds after midnight weighing a healthy 7lb 5oz. She was among some 30 babies born in the hospital that day.