ABU DHABI // As Khamis Khiri squeezed his eyes shut, his mother tightened her grip on her firstborn – and her greatest gift this Eid Al Fitr.
The newborn, weighing 3.6 kilograms, was the first baby to be born this Eid holiday at Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Hospital, the UAE’s biggest maternity hospital, arriving 21 minutes after the clock struck midnight.
“As soon as I saw his face I forgot everything,” said his proud mother, Hanan Al Hosani. “He is so cute.”
The 27-year-old Emirati gave birth to her son by c-section but was unaware that she was going to deliver on Eid.
“Sure, the day made it very special,” she said.
Ms Al Hosani’s mother was with her when she gave birth.
“She cried,” said the new mother, with a smile as her newborn let out a tiny yawn.
Her extended family was due to visit later, after the Eid celebrations, said Ms Al Hosani, who hopes to take her son home by Tuesday.
Down the corridor, another new mother, Afra Al Mansoori, was also celebrating her Eid blessing.
Hind Al Mansoori arrived at 1.20am, weighing 3.1kg, and is the second daughter and fifth child for the Emirati.
Giving birth on the first day of Eid was a “very nice surprise”, Ms Al Mansoori said.
The 29-year-old could not contain her smile as she cradled her daughter, snugly encased in a pale cream babygro and matching hat.
Hind was the first girl to be born at the Abu Dhabi hospital yesterday.
Ms Al Mansoori, a housewife in Abu Dhabi, said Hind’s brothers and sister have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new sibling.
“Alhamdulillah, it was very good,” she said, of her labour and natural birth.
Hayat Abdulla, 33, gave birth to her son at 1.11am. Weighing 2.8kg, he was the second boy to be born at the hospital on Eid.
Ms Abdulla named her third child and second boy Zayed, after the UAE’s Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed.
Ms Abdulla, an Emirati and Abu Dhabi resident, had a natural birth and said her newborn’s birthday made the latest addition to her family all the more special.
“Because my baby came at Eid, I am happy,” she said.
As the country marked the end of the holy month and the start of Eid celebrations, many mothers welcomed arrivals at the Abu Dhabi hospital.
By 10.30am yesterday, seven babies – four boys and three girls – had been born at the maternity ward. Their arrival times were 00.21am, 1.11am, 1.20am, 3.04am, 4.58am, 9.47am and 9.50am, respectively.
Staff members said they expected to have their hands full throughout the day, with more babies expected by the end of the day.
To mark the Eid celebration, each mother was presented with a baby-themed bouquet and chocolates by the hospital’s chief executive, Linda Clark.