ALL parents are totally overjoyed at the birth of their new baby but Anne and Patrick O'Mahony have even more reason to celebrate.
Not only was their baby daughter Zoey one of a select few born on 12/12/12, but her birth at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) followed pioneering robotic surgery.
Baby Zoey was delivered by caesarean section weighing a little over 6lbs.
She is the second baby for the Donoughmore, Co Cork, couple, following the da Vinci Surgical System which helps to prevent miscarriage and assists carrying a baby to full term.
Anne underwent the first procedure in 2010 at CUMH. During the procedure, a robot was used to place a stitch to close the neck of the womb (cervix).
Surgeon Dr Barry O'Reilly maintained control of the robotic arms, to which instruments are attached, using a computer console.
Baby Lucy was born in July 2011 -- which made Anne one of the first women in Europe to have a successful pregnancy as a result of the procedure.
Now with little Zoey, the couple are making history again as her birth marks the first time that a mother has achieved a second full-term pregnancy in Ireland, having had this surgery.
Anne said she was "thrilled" at her daughter's birth.
"I am most grateful for the intervention of the da Vinci Robot Surgical System which has helped me to have two successful pregnancies and given me two beautiful girls," she said.
"Our beautiful, healthy baby Zoey is a wonderful early Christmas present for Anne, Lucy and I," added proud dad Patrick.
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at CUMH, Dr O'Reilly said that in most hospitals the stitching procedure is performed through an open abdominal incision, which requires a long hospital stay and recovery period.
"The da Vinci surgical system benefits patients because it involves less pain and scarring and reduced risk of infection," said Dr O'Reilly.
Recovery times are also quicker than with open surgery.
CUMH has led the way in the use of the da Vinci robotic surgical system for gynaecological surgery.
The Hospital established its gynaecological robotic programme in 2008 having performed the first robotic gynaecological surgical procedure in Great Britain and Ireland in 2007.