Ushering in the new year with bundles of joy

Meet 2017's first Singaporean baby.
Above: Ms Loy and Mr Yap with their baby boy, who has yet to be named, at Thomson Medical Centre yesterday. He was the second baby of 2017, born at 12.53am. Left: Ms Chia and Dr Liu with their daughter Arielle, also born at Thomson Medical Centre at
Ms Loy and Mr Yap with their baby boy, who has yet to be named, at Thomson Medical Centre yesterday. He was the second baby of 2017, born at 12.53am.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Singapore's first baby of 2017 made a dramatic entrance, arriving at 12.26am following an emergency caesarean operation.

Baby boy Hazim Syukri was born at KK Women's and Children's Hospital, weighing 2.4kg. Both baby and mother are healthy.

Ms Syazwani Mohamed, 29, said she began having mild contractions last Friday night, two weeks ahead of schedule, and headed to hospital.

As she had low levels of amniotic fluids, which could pose a risk to the baby, she agreed to induce labour at 11am the next day.

After over 12 hours of contractions, she was only 6cm dilated and, with the baby in distress, doctors decided on the emergency operation.

In the first stage of labour, the cervix dilates to 10cm.

 Ms Chia and Dr Liu with their daughter Arielle, also born at Thomson Medical Centre at
Ms Chia and Dr Liu with their daughter Arielle, also born at Thomson Medical Centre at 12.55am. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

 

"His heartbeat was on and off, but for a tiny baby he's quite strong," said Ms Syazwani, who works in make-up and prosthetics at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

Mr Nor Hazwan, 29, was with his wife throughout the process.

"There were too many emotions at once. I was worried about her, about the baby... and excited," said Mr Hazwan, a dolphin trainer at RWS.

The couple, who met while studying at Singapore Polytechnic nearly a decade ago, have been married for just over a year. "I didn't expect to have the first baby of the year. I was just thinking, I want him to be safe, and praying hard for him to survive the process," said Ms Syazwani.

"When I finally got to see him, I was so emotional. When he cried out for the first time, I cried too."

At Thomson Medical Centre, a baby boy and girl were born minutes apart just before the end of the midnight hour.

Ms Loy Sim Lan, 37, and Mr Yap Ting Yew, 38, welcomed a baby boy at 12.53am, after about five hours in labour - "the fastest out of my three kids", she said.

Ms Loy, a primary school teacher, and Mr Yap, a property agent, have two daughters aged 21/2 and six.

Two minutes later, baby girl Arielle was born to parents Joleen Chia, 29, and Alexander Liu, 33. The baby was due on Jan 15, but Ms Chia, a housewife, discovered she was 3cm dilated during a routine visit to the gynaecologist on New Year's Eve.

The couple have a three-year-old son and want a third child, said Dr Liu, who manages the digital fabrication and additive manufacturing centre at Temasek Polytechnic.

But Ms Chia quipped: "Given the pain I just went through, I think it won't be so soon."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2017, with the headline 'Ushering in the new year with bundles of joy'. Print Edition | Subscribe