It's a labour of love as first Christmas babies put in an appearance
There is nothing greater than the gift of life, as some parents found out when they welcomed their newborn babies yesterday.
At Dublin's Coombe Hospital, Mia Wang and David Hackett, from Dublin 8, were over the moon with their first baby Kaia, born at 1.13am and weighing 7lbs 7oz.
Kaia's delighted parents celebrated her arrival with a very festive welcome, placing a red and white woolly hat on her head. Proud dad David then planted a kiss on her forehead.
Meanwhile, the first baby to arrive at the National Maternity Hospital Holles Street yesterday was Noah Redmond, who arrived at 13 minutes past midnight and weighed 7lbs.
His mother Jill told the Herald that the little bundle of joy was well worth the wait.
"We were actually expecting him on Christmas Eve, so he's not very punctual," she said.
"He's been great so far, very calm and sleeping loads.
"I'm feeling great. I'm a bit tired, but we're obviously really happy.
"This is our second child. We also have our daughter, Cara. She's just gone four.
"I'm sure we'll have all our family coming in. They're very excited to meet him."
Siobhan and Neil Cummins, from Rathfarnham, were over the moon as they cuddled their new son Finn, who was the third baby born at the Rotunda Hospital.
Finn, who arrived at 6am and weighed 7lbs 4oz, is the couple's first child.
Meanwhile, parents across the country were also overjoyed with the gift of a new baby.
At University Maternity Hospital Limerick, Nicola O'Brien welcomed a girl, who has yet to be named, at 6.23am. She weighed 5lbs 3oz.
The second baby born in Limerick was a girl named Alice, born at 7.10am to mum Marina Hedstrom, from Limerick city, and weighing in at 7lbs 14oz.
At Cork University Hospital, three babies were welcomed between 2am and 7am yesterday.
Parents Siddra Maryan and Nauman Shahad, from Douglas, have yet to name their newborn girl who arrived at 2.07am.
At 2.30am, Norma Kearney and Phillip MacSweeney from Lismire became parents to a baby girl.
Emily Rose Murphy followed at 6.36am, delighting Kate and Justin Murphy from Castletownroche.