PENANG: The Year of the Goat will always hold fond memories for American couple Jack Mastrorilli and his wife Ashley as they were blessed with the birth of their first baby boy.
“We are excited about the birth of our son, Jackson, especially since he is our first boy and we are aware of the significance of delivering a baby boy especially on the first day of the Chinese New Year.
“The baby is also our first outside California, where we are from and this makes it very special, something we will always remember,” said Mastrorilli, 37, a finance manager, who was at the Loh Guan Lye Specialists Centre visiting his wife with the couple’s two daughters Molly, four, and Megan, three.
The hospital had recorded the arrival of two babies on the first day of the New Year.
Ashley, 34, a housewife, said her 4.05kg baby boy who was delivered at 5.30am, was due last week.
“He probably waited for the first day of the Chinese New Year to make his appearance with the loud sounds of the lion dance and firecrackers,” she said.
The couple have been residing in Penang since April 2000.
Molly and Megan, who had kept asking when their baby brother was going to be born, said they were delighted with his arrival and were looking forward to going home soon “to play with the new baby”.
Another delighted mother is clerk Saw Pheng Pheng, 30, who was surprised that her baby son decided to arrive early although he was only due next week.
Saw said she and her businessman husband Ng Koon Peng never planned to have a Chinese New Year baby “although our little bundle of joy is probably our best Chinese New Year gift”.
The couple, from Jalan Raja Uda in Butterworth, have an older son, aged three.
“My older boy is looking forward to having his little brother back home soon for the New Year celebration,” Saw said.
She added that her 2.95kg baby boy, who was only due on Feb 4, had probably decided to jump the line and be born early to celebrate the new year with his parents and brother.
A total of 19 babies were born on the first day of the Chinese New Year with the earliest baby boy born at the Penang Hospital at 12.13am.
The other hospitals, which had recorded births, were Adventist Hospital, Lam Wah Ee Hospital, Woo Maternity Hospital and Pantai Mutiara Hospital with one each while Seberang Jaya Hospital and the Penang Hospital recorded seven and six births respectively.