Little Ethan Poon gave his parents a Chinese New Year surprise when he made his appearance at the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, making him the first baby here to be born in the Year of the Pig.
First-time parents Poon Yee Siang, 30, and Wong Ee Wen, 28, had been expecting their newborn to arrive a month later on March 3, but Ms Wong began experiencing painful contractions after a reunion dinner at her grandmother-in-law's house.
The couple, who have been married for two years, visited Mount Alvernia Hospital at about 10.30pm, thinking they could get some medication before heading home. "We came to the hospital thinking that it was just a routine check but, in the end, I was already 5cm dilated," said Ms Wong, a mechanical engineer.
After 11/2 hours of labour, Ethan was delivered naturally as the clock struck midnight. He weighed 3.27kg.
Ms Wong said she had had minor contractions for about 1½ days and the doctor had advised her to monitor the situation and go for a check if necessary.
During the reunion dinner on Chinese New Year's Eve, she had some painful contractions but these were bearable.
It was only after the couple returned home that her pain intensified and they decided to head to the hospital, she added.
Little Ethan is a baby with several firsts. He is not only the first child of Mr Poon, who is a civil engineer, and his wife, but he is also the first grandson and first great-grandson of Mr Poon's family.
Upon hearing the good news, Mr Poon's parents were so excited that they rushed to the hospital in the morning, the couple said.
Mr Poon met his wife when they were undergraduates at the National University of Singapore and they got married after graduation.
They said they had not planned for Ethan as they wanted to "let nature take its course".
Now, they are hoping to have another child in about two years' time.
Mount Alvernia's chief executive James Lam said: "We are very happy for Mr and Mrs Poon. I'm sure Mr Poon's family is especially delighted with this new bundle of joy."
Dr Lam, who presented the new parents with a Chinese New Year baby hamper, said: "We wish Ethan health and happiness always. We also wish all babies good health and a blessed journey in life."