Randa Eltayeb prayed her baby would be born on National Day when she was told she was due in early December.
Her prayer was answered yesterday when Yousuf Elmouez came into the world at 12.19am – the first baby to be born in the Corniche Hospital, Abu Dhabi, on the 41st National Day.
His arrival was six days early.
“I prayed for this,” Randa said, cradling her newborn, who weighed 2.7 kilograms. “Since I was pregnant I hoped for December 2. I didn’t think it would happen.”
The Madinat Zayed resident, 37, moved from Sudan to the UAE in 1979.
She arrived at Corniche Hospital on Friday and a decision was made to induce labour. “I started getting pain at 8pm [on Saturday] and I hoped it would last until midnight,” Randa said. “I feel happy, absolutely. It was a dream for me.
“One of my colleagues told me ‘we hope that you will get your baby on December 2’ so I told her ‘OK, his birthday will be ready every year’.”
Randa is looking forward to telling her son all about the importance of his birthday.
“I’m always telling all my friends and everybody about the life we have spent in this country and the education I have got in this country,” she said. “I’m very proud and happy to be in the UAE.”
The laboratory technologist at Madinat Zayed Hospital, who now has three sons, has seen a great deal of change since she arrived 33 years ago.
“The country was very different then. The people were few only and were very close, knowing each other. I have watched the country grow. I hope that Yousuf spends his life in the UAE.
“I cannot imagine myself living anywhere else. Although we like our home country, this is where we have stayed for more time.”
More new arrivals were welcomed into the world at Dubai Hospital yesterday morning.
Staff nurse Tessy Anthony said there were five born between midnight to midday.
“We had a baby born at 3.40am,” Ms Anthony said. “That was the first baby for us. We heard there was another born at Latifa Hospital before us.”
Eleven babies were born between midnight and 11am at Corniche Hospital.
Among them was the son of the Emirati Hasna Al Katheeri, 32. Majed was born at 5.50am, weighing about 2.9kg. Hasna, who lives in Abu Dhabi, said first child arrived two weeks early.
“I did not expect it at all,” she said. “It was an unexpected and beautiful event on a very special day. I feel so happy.
“National Day is about the Union of the seven emirates. It’s the day that the UAE is born, so I feel my baby is just as special as his country.”
The first child for Roel Amora, an Abu Dhabi resident from the Philippines, was born at 12.57am.
Simone Therese Amora was delivered by caesarean section and weighed 4.3kg. Roel, 36, a site engineer, held his daughter with a broad grin as mum Yvonne recovered.
“When I saw the baby for the first time I didn’t understand how I was feeling,” he said. “I wanted to cry I was so happy. I think you cannot forget her birthday as she was born on National Day – it’s always a holiday.”
Nursing supervisor Huda Al Aawar has worked at Corniche Hospital for 12 years and says it is very special working on National Day.
“You can feel the spirit of celebration and the families are very happy, especially if their baby is the first who is born on December 2,” Ms Al Aawar said.
“Most of the patients love to deliver on this day. That is why we had a lot of admissions last [Saturday] night. If there is any small pain they all rush to the hospital.”