Joyful mothers as they receive New Year baby gifts

Muhima Hospital maternity department reported 15 births; seven boys and eight girls as of midday Jan. 1, 2020. Dan Nsengiyumva.

Janviere Umuhoza is a 29-year-old who just became a mother. She gave birth to her first bouncing baby boy, Jovite Ian Kayonga on New Year at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali. (CUHK)

One of Umuhoza’s 2020 goals was to have a baby, now New Year’ first day has become an “intersection of all the blessings she could ever ask for. How amazing!” She talked to The New Times only five hours after giving birth by C-section .

In a joyful low voice and seemingly painful smiles from labour pains, Umuhoza recounts her feelings: “I really can’t believe that my baby has the same birthday as me, on the first day of 2020, this is a special day for me".

After visiting CHUK, where Kayonga and three other baby boys were born, The New Times visited other hospitals in Kigali to capture the feeling of parents who gave birth on not just New Year, but the first day of the decade.

At Muhima Hospital, a place where babies are delivered all the time, according to one member of the administration, 15 births, 7 boys and 8 girls had already been recorded between midnight and midday. Some delivery operations were still ongoing.

One of the babies is Zuhra Umutesi’s boy child. According to initial medical checkups, the boy was expected to be born on January 16th. Six hours after 2020 kicked in, at 5h 30’ am, Umuhoza gave birth.

“It is super amazing; it feels extraordinary to give birth on the first day of 2020. I have not chosen a name yet, but it has to be as special as my baby and his birthday,” Umutesi said.

Zuhra Umutesi gave birth on New Year. Photo by Dan Nsengiyumva 

Besides, Umutesi added that when Vision 2020 was established in 2000 she was 13. “I thought I would be dead of age by then because it seemed like a hundred years to me. Instead, I gave birth,” she recounts with noticeable emotions.

Umuhoza’s baby boy is her second after her firstborn who was also born on Christmas Day in 2016.

"Now my family has a more meaningful festive season, celebrating my boys’ birthdays,” she said with a smile.

In the next room to Umuhoza’s, there sat Alice Uwimana . She just gave birth to her sixth child at the age of 26. Of all the times she has given birth, the first day of vision 2020 added a touch of extraordinariness to this birth and the baby.

“I haven’t chosen a name yet, but I will definitely consider the fact that this is a vision 2020 and New Year’s baby,” she said.  

Alice Uwimana gave birth at Muhima Hospital. Photo by Dan Nsengiyumva

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