Meet the Illawarra's first baby of 2014 

River Mae Muntz came into the world at 3.29am on New Year's Day to be the first baby born in the region for 2014.

But she won't get to meet her father Jason Muntz, a Master Class 5 shiphand, for another 28 days. Mr Muntz, 27, is working on Barrow Island off Karratha in Western Australia on a fly-in, fly-out arrangement.

Instead, mum Kym Langdon, a primary school teacher, had her sister Katrina and mum Barbara by her side to get her through the 50-hour pre-labour that preceded the birth at Wollongong Hospital.

"Even though I had my mum and sister supporting me, which was great, it wasn't the same without him there," Ms Langdon said.

There were no surprises, though, with River doing exactly as expected, arriving, as predicted, on January 1.

Cyclone Christine prevented Ms Langdon from talking to Mr Muntz as his ship sailed south out to sea to avoid the wild weather.

However, with wi-fi on board the ship, she was able to inform him by email that his daughter had been born and he managed to put through a call to the delivery suite shortly after River had been placed into Ms Langdon's arms for the first time.

"We were both so excited it was a girl, " Ms Langdon said. "We were sure it was a boy, so we couldn't quite believe it.

"Jason has messaged me today to say that he can't wipe the smile off his face. He is so happy."

River, named after a character in a movie, has been the perfect little bundle of joy, going with the flow in regards to feeding and sleeping.

"She's been so good for me," Ms Langdon said. "Jason works five weeks and is home for five weeks, so we knew that he wouldn't be around for the birth, which has been a lot harder on him than it has been on me. I know he's doing it for all the right reasons and that he'll be a fantastic father."

On the positive side, it means Mr Muntz will get to spend five weeks with his daughter when he returns at the end of the month.

River Mae is the third grandchild in the Langdon family and the seventh for the Muntz family. But the only child attracting media coverage on her first day in the world.

"It's exciting that she'll get to grow up knowing that she was the first baby born in the Illawarra in 2014," Ms Langdon said. "It's very special."

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