One minute after midnight on New Year’s Day was two days late for Cheryl and Boris Samu for the healthy arrival of their baby girl Anna, Edmonton’s first birth in 2009.

Cheryl, who was due on Tuesday, gave birth to the six-pound, six-ounce baby girl after 10 hours of labour at the Misericordia Hospital at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Anna’s arrival also happened one minute before another baby girl was born at the Grey Nuns Hospital, but her parents said they never paid much attention to the clock as they awaited their first child.

“(Cheryl) was in pain and I was holding her. I was trying not to look, and I was praying with my eyes closed. I wasn’t even trying to look at the clock,” Boris said about that special moment.

“When the baby was delivered they said, ‘She’s a New Year’s baby.’ We never really paid attention to it. Cheryl wanted to push her out as soon as possible.”

Cheryl, who works at the Misericordia Hospital, says she was doing some post-Christmas shopping at West Edmonton Mall when her water broke.

It was something that happened unexpectedly because her doctor said she would have to be induced Jan. 8.

“All of a sudden, her water broke and we knew we were going to have the baby, but not a New Year baby,” said Boris, who is an MRI technologist at the Grey Nuns Hospital.

“We thought she was going to be born on New Year’s Eve.”

As the parents greeted the media, both cuddled Anna, who was wrapped in a white blanket. The baby seemed to love the attention as newspaper photographers snapped away to get that special shot.

After one camera flash, the baby with a full head of hair appeared to smile.

“I am not surprised that she has a full head of hair because I had a full head of hair when I was born,” said Cheryl.

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