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Wairarapa’s first baby of the new year

Arkie Celestine Suyan Zarate held out until the wee hours to become Wairarapa’s first baby of 2023.

Arkie Celestine’s mother Jackie Lou said she was born at 3.25 am on January 1, weighing 3.14 kilograms.

She became the first baby of her parents, Jackie Lou Suyan and Carl Patrick Zarate.

“I was in the hospital on the 29th of December because I was induced, but then we were waiting for three days [for her to be born],” Jackie Lou said.

She said it was a long wait, but it was worth it.

“I was thinking; maybe she’s waiting for 2023.”

She said she had thought Arkie Celestine was going to be born before the New Year.

Jackie Lou said her labour went by quickly, beginning on the night of the 31st of December.

“We went to the delivery suite at 1am, maybe 2am, and she came out just after 3am.”

She said the midwives were telling them right before Arkie Celestine’s birth that she was going to be the first baby born in Wairarapa in 2023.

She said she had recently moved from Wellington to be in the same town as Carl Patrick, who has been living in Masterton for six years.

Jackie Lou said her mother, Sofia Suyan, had made the trip from the Philippines last week to help with Arkie Celestine.

She said this was both Arkie Celestine’s and her mother’s first New Year in New Zealand.

Jackie Lou said Sofia would be staying until October to help with Arkie Celestine’s first months in the world.

“Being a dad is all about multitasking. You have to wake up in the middle of the night,” Carl Patrick said.

Jackie Lou said their midwife had recently visited and thought Arkie Celestine was doing well.

“She’s drinking a lot.”

Arkie Celestine was named after her parents, with Arkie taken from Jackie and Carl, and Celestine meaning heavenly.

Jackie Lou said when Arkie Celestine found out she was the first baby born in 2023 when she was older, she’d be happy.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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