SINGAPORE - As Singaporeans across the island rang in the nation's 55th birthday on Sunday (Aug 9), a couple were welcoming a new baby into their lives.
This year's first National Day baby, Matilda Tan, was born as the clock struck 12 in KK Women's and Children's Hospital to Mrs Natalie Tan, 25, and Mr Jonathan Tan, 27.
She weighed in at 3.6 kg.
The first-time parents, who both work as software developers, told The Straits Times that the baby was due on Aug 13.
But at about 5am on Saturday, Mrs Tan lost her mucus plug, an indication that labour could begin soon. The couple notified the hospital and were advised to go down to prepare for the delivery. Mrs Tan went into labour at about 8pm.
Mr Tan said they decided on the name Matilda as they wanted one that signified overcoming adversity.
"It means 'strong battle' in German. It's also the name of a character in the Roald Dahl book and we really like the meaning of that. And it feels like, because she decided to come out on National Day, the name fits her - she's really strong-willed," he said.
He added that they did not expect to receive her on the stroke of midnight, but now, "we will remember for life the story of her birth".
The couple said they will be taking the day to rest, and that they will try to tune in to livestreams of the National Day celebrations.
Mrs Tan said she is glad the baby is healthy, adding: "It's a nice coincidence (to be born on National Day) for her but to me it doesn't really matter what day this is, as long as she grows up strong and healthy."
Sharing his good wishes for the nation, Mr Tan said: "I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. I think this National Day really shows the SG United spirit, we are all trying to overcome this adversity that hasn't been seen before."
Among other National Day babies on Sunday was a boy born at 12.58am to research assistant Azri Razali, 32, and research coordinator Lyana Shaffiee, 28, at the National University Hospital (NUH). He weighed 2.1 kg.
The couple named their son, who is their first child, Aiman, which they said means "righteous, blessed and fearless".
The family was presented with a hand-painted card and hamper containing diapers, made by the nurses in their ward, 9A.
The next nine babies born at NUH also received similar gifts.
Said Madam Lyana: "We are celebrating with our firstborn and we wish all Singaporeans a happy National Day."