Better late than never as Charlie becomes our first 2020 baby

By Ivy Jensen

IT MAY have taken five days, but our first baby for 2020 finally arrived before the week was out. Thanks to a little motivation.

A few hours after Belinda Hartshorn was induced at Echuca hospital, she and husband Justin welcomed their newborn son, Charlie Reed, to the world on the evening of January 5.

“It was a quick and intense labour, nothing like my first,” Belinda said.

The Echuca couple couldn't believe Charlie, who was due on January 6, was the first baby for 2020.

“I was shocked when they told me. I thought for sure there would be way more babies born before me,” Belinda said.

And with 37 babies booked in to be born this month, it was a longer wait than expected.

Since Charlie arrived, there have been 22 babies born at Echuca hospital and there are 44 booked for February.

“I get bragging rights now, which is pretty special,” Belinda said.

The mother-of-two woke at 2.15am when her waters broke.

“I rang the hospital and told them I might be in soon,” she said.

“I got some more sleep because nothing was happening and then they called back at 6.30am to see what was going on.

“They told me to come in at 7.30am and they confirmed my waters had broken and I was in the early stages of labour. They said to go home and if nothing was happening by 1.30pm to come back and they would move things along.

“I was induced at 3pm and Charlie was born at 6.40pm.”

It is the couple's second child; three-year-old Millie born in the same hospital on December 5, 2016.

“Millie was all smiles when she first met him,” Belinda said.

Now more than two weeks old, Charlie is settled in at home and the family is getting used to the new routine.

“He's been a really good baby but I don't know whether that's because I know what to expect this time,” Belinda said.

“He's been sleeping well, only up twice a night for a feed, and then he goes back down again.”

However, things haven't been all smooth sailing, with Charlie having to wear a brace for hip dysplasia.

“His hips haven't formed correctly so he had to wear the brace to correct that,” Belinda said.

“It doesn't hurt him but we haven't been able to bath him properly.

“We go to the Royal Children's Hospital on February 5 and they will let us know how long he has to wear it. We'll also be able to give him his first real bath which will be nice.”

Apart from that, the family is looking forward to a happy and healthy 2020.

“We're just getting to know him and becoming used to being a family of four now,” Belinda said.

“My hope is that he is healthy and grows up to be a kind and generous kid.

“I'm sure Justin will be stoked if he takes an interest in footy or cricket,” she laughed.