Ella Darby was welcomed as the first baby born in Wollongong on Australia Day, with Ashleigh and Glen Darby introduced another little girl to the family.
“We’ve got a lot of girls in the family. She’s number eight,” said Mr Darby.
“I’ve got cousins and all their partners have had little girls, and my sisters had a girl.”
Ella, born at 12.30am Thursday weighing 3.59 kilograms, was delivered via caesarean just over four weeks early.
Despite her premature arrival, Mrs Darby said Ella was a “pretty big baby for that early”.
After experiencing a difficult birth with their 15-month-old daughter Olivia, Mrs Darby said the early labour was planned for Friday.
“But then yesterday, she ended up in some distress and I ended up going into labour and it ended up being safer to just send me for a caesarean,” said Mrs Darby.
“By the time we got packed and ready it was after midnight, and there we were. An Australia Day baby.”
The couple, who are residents of East Corrimal, don’t plan to try for another baby anytime soon but do hope to have a son one day.
“It’s not 100 per cent off the table, if we were to have a third,” Mrs Darby said.
“There will be a gap, a bigger gap.”
The Australia Day Committee, which works in conjunction with the Wollongong City Council, provided a gift-pack for the couple, ranging from baby clothes to a night at the Novotel.
The Australia Day baby coordinator Robyn Hampton delivered the gifts and wished the couple well after a long and stressful night.
Ms Hampton said she found her ongoing role very rewarding, with this initiative being unique to Wollongong.
She said the gift pack offered “something for everyone”.
Other surprises in the pack included flowers from Bunches, champagne from Crown West Cellars, a voucher for a manicure and $100 gift voucher from Horizon Credit Union.
“I would say that I’ve been doing it for about 20 years,” she said.
“It’s the best job.
“It’s a way of welcoming the first baby born in Wollongong on that particular day.
“We’ve got a silver spoon and egg cup to engrave for them, so that’s a memento for them to keep always, for their very special 26th of January birthday.”