RILEY Harris was due to be born on Christmas Day – but his late arrival made it a New Year celebration for 17-year-old mum Rhianydd Harris, from Newport.

Weighing 8lb 2oz, Riley came into the world 32 minutes into 2013, the first baby of the year to be born at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

The early hours of New Year’s Day proved very busy at the Royal Gwent, with ten babies born by 8am.

“NewYear’s Eve was hectic and it carried on into the morning,” said midwife Kath Maguire, who added that the number born at the hospital’s delivery unit by the end of January 1 could be well into the teens.

“It’s not the most we’ve had at this time of the year, but they are keeping us busy.”

At five weeks premature, Paulee Kirk James was the last – but most welcome – thing mum Kristalee and dad Richard James, from Trinant, expected as a New Year’s Day cause for celebration.

Born at 1.57am, weighing 4lb 7oz, he is Mrs James’ sixth child, and was spending his first day in special care in the hospital’s neonatal unit.

Logan Roscoe is a first child for Victoria Hodge and partner Craig Roscoe, of Newbridge. Born at 4am weighing 7lb 4oz, he had been due on New Year’s Eve.

A baby boy for Nicole Gormley, 31, and Jason Batty, of Rogerstone, arrived at 4.01am, almost two weeks after his due date. Weighing in at 7lb 10oz, he does not yet have a name.

Another new arrival yet to be named is the baby girl born to Yamkumari Thapa, from Cwmbran, at 2.34am, weighing 5lb.

Karlie Chick and Darren Price, of Cwmbran, were celebrating the birth of their second child, Zac – short for Zachary – yesterday.

Weighing just over 8lb, he was born at 3.44am, a brother for 13-month-old Lilly.

There was New Year baby joy too for Katarina Kehlikova, who lives in Newport, and who gave birth to her first child, Samuel, weighing 7lb 5oz, at 2.45am.

And it was a third boy for Kelly Jarvis, of Newport, who gave birth to Ieuan, weighing 7lb 7oz, at 7.45am.

There was also a pair of twins born during the early hours at the Royal Gwent.

At Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny, three babies were born during the first half of New Year’s Day.

These include Buddy Wilson, born at 12.07am to Emily and Richard Price, of Brecon, weighing 7lb 2oz – and Beau James Bevan, born at 2.15am, weighing 6lb 1oz, to Sarah and James Bevan, of Builth Wells.

There was also one baby born at the birth unit at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.

ARGUS COMMMENT: Hats off to midwives

IF YOU spent yesterday with your feet up, recovering after overdoing it on New Year’s Eve, spare a thought for the hard-working midwives at the Royal Gwent Hospital who had to deal with a bumper crop of newborns.

With the first arrival just half an hour after the midnight bells, the team worked all morning to deliver ten babies – including twins – by 8am.

Riley Harris was first to arrive, weighing 8lb 2oz, for beaming 17-year-old mum Rhianydd Harris, from Newport.

Midwife Kath Maguire described New Year’s Eve as ‘hectic’ and expected that by the end of last night the number of new arrivals would be well into the teens.

It is professionals like these midwives who make our NHS the brilliant service that it is today.

With plans afoot to create a seven-day NHS, it is worth remembering that some departments don’t have a nine-to-five existence.

Babies can come at any time, so midwives need to be on hand at all hours to ensure a safe delivery.

Weekends and night duties are a regular feature of their role, but their unsociable hours are often overlooked when it comes to looking at the services provided by the NHS.

For many workers the NHS is already a seven-day operation and we are thankful for it.