x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Good news comes in elevens for parents of newborns

Special 11/11/11 date adds to the joy for mums and dads of newborn babies at Corniche Hospital.

Salema Al Ghunami holds her newborn son Falah Al Ameri, born at 12.01am, 11/11/11, at the Corniche Hospital.
Salema Al Ghunami holds her newborn son Falah Al Ameri, born at 12.01am, 11/11/11, at the Corniche Hospital.

ABU DHABI // Fatima Al Ansari made a special Eid request of her mother - that her sister could be born on 11/11/11, as she was certain such a birthday would bless the little girl for life.

The baby was born on the special day, five days after the due date. Noora, weighing 3.28 kilograms, was born at 8.32am at Corniche Hospital to the Emirati couple Shamma Al Khazraji and Khaled Al Ansari after almost 12 hours of labour. "My eldest, she tells me every day, every day she says, 'Mum, bring this baby on this day because it's a special day'," said Ms Al Khazraji, 27.

"Everybody knows it's lucky. I was waiting for this day a long time and hoping."

The mother of four is not sure if she believes in auspicious birthdays: "Not yet. We will see."

Falah Al Ameri claimed the title of the first Emirati child born on 11/11/11, at 00.01am.

He arrived as his extended family packed their bags to leave for their home in Muscat after the Eid holiday.

Falah was due next week, but his early arrival meant he got to meet his family much earlier.

He was born to Salema Al Ghunami and Mohammed Al Ameri, with a birth weight of 3.3kg. Mohammed's sister hoped the magic 11/11/11 would bring a double birthday. She was due nine days ago and even as she congratulated her brother, she was expecting to go into labour at any minute.

"Come back in a few hours and you might see me," said Umm Rakan, soon to be a mother of four. "Hopefully in a few hours."

It was hoped her labour would begin before the relatives leave for Muscat. They will go directly from the hospital.

Corniche Hospital reunions are now a part of family tradition. Falah's father was born at the hospital 36 years before, as were his three siblings and most of his cousins, aunts and uncles.

The 3.7kg baby who was closest to the 11th hour on 11/11/11 has yet to be named and was born at 10.45am.

He is the first child to the Syrians Humaidi Hamza and Johara Al Kalach, who are 22 and 17.

Asked how she felt, her mother-in-law Ghaliyah replied quickly on her behalf: "She's very, very happy. I came with her and I reassured her and I prayed for her and told her to be strong."

She knows how her daughter-in-law feels. She gave birth to five children at home and another 10 at Corniche Hospital, including the baby's father.

As Ghaliyah cooed over the newborn, Ms Al Kalach fell asleep.

azacharias@thenational.ae