Hong Kong welcomed its first baby of 2018 just seconds into the new year on Monday – followed by four others within an hour.
A boy, weighing 3.45 kilograms, was born eight seconds after the clock struck 12 to Imma Chan and Pan Cheung at Hong Kong Baptist Hospital in Kowloon.
Chan, a first-time mother in her 30s, said the birth in the new year came as a surprise because the due date was December 30.
“I think the baby chose the date himself,” said Chan, an engineering director.
Her husband Cheung hoped their son, who has not yet been named, would grow up in a more peaceful social environment.
“There are many disputes in society now, and I hope he will grow up happily in a world with fewer disputes,” said Cheung, who works in property management.
Chan also hoped the boy would make “a contribution to society”, on top of being a meek and loving son.
Just 50 seconds after midnight, the first girl of 2018 was born to Rebecca Yau and Ken Chan.
The child, their second, weighed 2.6 kilograms and was also born at Baptist Hospital.
Yau, a 33-year-old administration director, said they named the girl “Ka-lam”, which means beautiful gems in Chinese.
The birth of Ka-lam, which was 17 days earlier than the due date, was unexpected to Yau and Chan.
“In the future, when we count down to the new year every year, we will think of our Ka-lam coming to this world with a cry,” Yau said.
Her 36-year-old husband said he hoped Ka-lam would grow up in a place “full of love and hope”.
Chan, an accountant, believed Hong Kong “still has room to improve,” especially on “basic matters such as health care”.
“I hope Hong Kong society will become more harmonious with less rage,” he said.
The couple had thought of emigrating before their first son was born, as they worried the local education system was too stressful.
But they were reassured when they saw the child of a good enjoying a local kindergarten.
The couple now hope they will not be pushed too much by external forces and provide Ka-lam with a happy childhood.
Three other babies were born within the first hour of 2018. Two boys were born on the 28th second and 14th minute of the new year at Matilda International Hospital on The Peak, followed by a girl in the 48th minute at Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung.
Did you find this article insightful?