1st baby boy born in Chinese New Year of the Goat arrives at 1.47am on Thursday

SINGAPORE - When 34 year-old Ms Ng Ling Siew was told that she could head back home from the hospital on Wednesday morning after having contractions, she was happy she could join her family for their reunion dinner.

The doctor had told her that the baby was not yet due and told her to return later at night.

What Ms Ng did not expect was that her son, who was delivered some time past midnight, would be the first baby to be born in the new Year of the Goat via natural delivery.

The housewife gave birth to 2.98kg baby Nicodemus in Raffles Hospital at 1.47am on Thursday morning.

Ms Ng and her IT executive husband Dean Baey, 34, have two other children, both of whom are also boys. Their older son Nathan is aged five while Noah is three years old.

Ms Ng told The Straits Times that she went to the hospital at 8.30am on Wednesday.

She said: "The doctor was expecting that the baby would probably come at about 2am."

Ms Ng later returned to Raffles hospital at 10.30pm.

"We weren't really expecting to be the first (to deliver a baby in the new year) because it was way past midnight," she said.

The family only realised at about 9am on Thursday that Nicodemus was the first child to be born on Chinese New Year.

"I guess that it was just a pleasant surprise," said Ms Ng. "We are very blessed that we have three adorable children," she added.

The family received $888 in cash, a brooch and a hand-crafted 24 carat gold-plated Wealth Goat sculpture from giftmaker Risis.