Five bundles of joy make a lively start to 2014

Five bundles of joy make a lively start to 2014
(L) Mr Iswardy Ithnain and Ms Nur Asilah Ali with their daughter Nur Afina Insyirah. (R) Dr Adrian Sim and Ms Jacqueline Tan with their son Averett, Singapore's first baby of the year.

SINGAPORE - While revellers partied across the island and fireworks burst over Marina Bay, Singapore's first baby of 2014 was born at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day at Thomson Medical Centre.

Averett Sim, or "Avey" as his parents call him, was originally scheduled for delivery on Jan 10.

His father Adrian Sim, 35, a general practitioner at Healthway Medical Group, said he and his spouse, housewife Jacqueline Tan, 28, chose the name for their firstborn because it stands for strength and courage - two qualities they hope he will grow up to possess.

At least 10 excited relatives from both families gathered in the waiting room to welcome Avey into the world, said Ms Tan, who was in labour for about five hours before the natural birth

"The grandparents are very happy and excited, especially my husband's parents," she added. "This is their first grandchild."

The lucky couple have also won an infant car seat and a food hamper from Nestle, on top of a month's supply of diapers from Huggies, for having Thomson Medical Centre's first baby of 2014.

Less than a minute after Averett's birth, technical officer Iswardy Ithnain, 27, and nurse Nur Asilah Ali, 25, welcomed their daughter, Nur Afina Insyirah, into the world at Singapore General Hospital.

"She was due to arrive on the 29th last month," said Ms Asilah, who works at the National Heart Centre. "We're pleasantly surprised as we didn't expect her to be a New Year's baby."

The couple hope to have two more children.

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