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Proud parents celebrate babies born on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 January 2019

Philomena Opare and son Kevin with newborn son Marvin Nana Afriyie. Picture: Ken Mears

Philomena Opare and son Kevin with newborn son Marvin Nana Afriyie. Picture: Ken Mears

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What was the best Christmas present you received this year – a nice watch, a video game, or some brand new socks?

Susie Tsui-Lucas with husband Adam and Ivy Lilibeth, born on Christmas Day. Picture: Ken MearsSusie Tsui-Lucas with husband Adam and Ivy Lilibeth, born on Christmas Day. Picture: Ken Mears

For some in east London, they were blessed with the gift of a baby on Christmas Day.

There were 11 babies born across Newham Hospital and the Barking Birth Centre on December 25, with the earliest recorded shortly after 4.30am. In Tower Hamlets, eight babies were born – two at the Lotus Birth Centre, four on the maternity ward at the Royal London Hospital and two at the Barkantine Birth Centre in the Isle of Dogs.

First-time mother Suniah Azam, 28, won a strange accolade when she gave birth – baby Eesa Rafiq Azam was the first child born in Newham Hospital on December 25. Born at 4.31am and weighing 6.6 pounds, he received his name because of the day he was born.

“He was three weeks early, so we named him Eesa because he was born on Christmas Day,” Suniah said.

Ibrahim and Suniah Azam with baby Eesa. Picture: Ken MearsIbrahim and Suniah Azam with baby Eesa. Picture: Ken Mears

“Eesa is the name for Jesus in our religion. We had a tough week because we had five days in hospital, but we’re okay now.”

For Suniah, Eesa was both a Christmas and birthday present – she celebrated her 28th with husband Ibrahim, 26, just three days later.

Philomena Opare, 33, also made an appearance at Newham Hospital on Christmas Day. She gave birth to Marvin Nana Afriyie, weighing 7.35 pounds, at midday.

Philomena, who lives in Barking, had an induced labour and gave birth via c-section, providing her four-year-old, Kevin, with a little brother.

Prathan and Heta Patel with baby Trishan. Picture: Ken MearsPrathan and Heta Patel with baby Trishan. Picture: Ken Mears

“Kevin is very happy,” she said.

“He’s almost five so he’s happy to have someone with him. We’re all doing very well.”

For Susie Tsui-Lucas, 34, it was a bit of a wait when she gave birth.

Ivy Lilibeth was due on December 13, making her almost two weeks late. Weighing 7.55 pounds, Susie was supported by husband Adam, 35, when she gave birth just before 10am.

Mohammad and Sarmin Howlader with son Redwaan and new baby Ayesha. Picture: Ken MearsMohammad and Sarmin Howlader with son Redwaan and new baby Ayesha. Picture: Ken Mears

“It was a relief,” Adam said.

“She was 12 days late, so we were happy that she came because Susie would have been induced otherwise. We’re very happy that she came in her own time.

“It was the perfect gift. They’re both doing really well, Ivy is very hungry and she’s adorable.”

Adam also heaped the praise on the staff who helped him and Susie during the birth.

He said: “I’d like to add a special thanks to Oriana, Humaairah and Lizzie from the Group Practice Midwives at Newham General. They are a unique team offering continuity of care throughout pregnancy, Labour and ante-natal and more people in Newham should know about them.”

A week later, and it was another busy day for Newham’s midwives. Yasmin Nurunnahar and husband Riawi, both 36, saw the arrival of their baby shortly after 5pm on New Year’s Day.

The baby boy – who, when Riawi spoke to our reporter still didn’t have a name – weighed just over six pounds, and was born at Newham Hospital.

“We haven’t decided a name yet,” Riawi said.

“It’s been hard to pick.”

The new baby is the fourth child for the Nurunnahar family, following 15-year-old Farah, seven-year-old Ibrahim and four-year-old Mariya.

The Howlader family also welcomed their baby into the world at Newham Hospital on January 1. Sarmin gave birth at 10.38am, after an induced labour.

Baby Ayesha weighed 6.1 pounds and is the first sibling for Redwaan, who’s almost three.

Proud dad Mohammad said: “The due date was January 21 but it wasn’t a surprise because it was an induced labour.

“The baby is doing fine, Redwaan was very pleased and we are very happy. My son finally has a play partner.”

Prathan, 34, and wife Heta, 29, welcomed their first child on New Year’s Day. Their baby boy, Trishan, arrived at 4.11am in Newham Hospital. He was due to be a Boxing Day baby, so it was a relief when he finally arrived.

“The first time we went they said it was due on Boxing Day, then they said December 28,” Prathan said.

“We had an appointment for January 4, and if it hadn’t have come by then, he’d have been induced.”

The couple ended up timing their visit to perfection, arriving at the ward at 3.40am – about half an hour before the baby came.

“The timing was perfect,” Prathan added.

“Both are doing fine now.”

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