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First baby born at new Thames Birthing Unit

First baby born at new Thames Birthing Unit

When Whitianga barista Penelope Tee gave birth to her son Flynn Lucas at 10.31pm yesterday, after 10 hours labour, she became the first woman to have her baby at the newly opened Thames Birthing Unit.

To celebrate the arrival of their first born, Penelope and husband Joshua watched a replay of the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony and the All Blacks vs Tonga match they’d missed earlier.

“We had some snacks and nibbles and just enjoyed the thrill of giving birth and these wonderful facilities,” the 25-year-old said today.

Penelope, who is Hamilton born and raised, moved to Whitianga three years ago when the couple got married.

The last thing she wanted to do was have Flynn early as it would have meant giving birth in the old maternity wing at Thames Hospital.

“It’s so much nicer here in the birthing unit and just knowing you’re not in hospital with that hospital smell.

“It’s gorgeous here, well set up for birthing. I was just so stoked that I could have Flynn here.”

She has her own room with ensuite and Joshua was able to stay with her the night.

So relaxed was Penelope today that she described the birth and the hours afterwards as a “breeze”. Flynn, who weighed in at 2960 grams (6.53 pounds) seems to revel in the peaceful atmosphere too – he’s been feeding and sleeping well.

“I’d recommend this place to anyone. My midwife Ann Ward was great and the ladies here have been so helpful with breast feeding and helping me and Flynn settle.”

Ann said the new mother was an absolute trooper. Having the baby born on the due date and after the formal opening of the birthing unit this week was a thrill for her and something she desperately wanted to do.

“She told me she wanted to give birth here. It’s great too that she’s from Whitianga. The women in the Coromandel have wanted a primary birthing facility like this for years so I’m just so pleased to have delivered the first baby at Thames Birthing Unit.”

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