“Beautiful” Shanya first out of the blocks

A SUBDUED New Year’s Eve celebration quickly turned into a moment of history for  Craigmore parents Jessica and Sena Weerasinghe,as their daughter Shanya was the first baby born at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in 2018.

At 3.03am on January 1st, Jessica gave  birth to the couple’s third child, Shanya, naturally, following a “fairly quick” four-hour labour.

At the time of birth, Shanya weighed 4.21kg and was 52cm long.

The Weerasinghes had always aimed to have a baby in 2018, but upon finding out the news that Jessica’s due date was December 30, the pair was quietly hopeful Shanya might come a little late – just like their previous two children, Priyasha and Thejan.

“Jessica went to the doctor on December 29 and the doctor said that she probably wouldn’t have this baby for another week,” Mr Weerasinghe said.

After hearing the doctor’s advice, the pair had planned a quiet New Year’s Eve at home, until, at around 6:45pm, Jessica’s water unexpectedly broke and they raced to the Lyell McEwin Hospital.

“I spent the day doing all the housework, so I got the kids bathed, got the dinner ready and was just getting ready to watch the Adelaide Strikers game – because I’m a big cricket fan – only for Jessica to come in and say that her water had broken,” Mr Weerasinghe said.

“(While Jessica was in labour) I was looking at the clock and kept thinking, as every half an hour went by, that she was going to be a 2018 baby.”

The couple, who met in Sri Lanka in 2008, were both equally amazed and proud of the baby they had created.

“I was just amazed, as you always are, you just think ‘gosh we made her’,” Mrs Weerasinghe said.

“She’s beautiful and she’s amazing.”

While Shanya was the first baby of the New Year, the Lyell McEwin experienced a slight decrease in the number of births throughout 2017.

3742 babies, including 42 sets of twins, were born at the hospital in 2017, compared to 3846 babies born in 2016.

March represented the busiest month for the hospital which saw 350 babies born, while May was the quietest month with 270 births.

Of babies born at the hospital in 2017, 50.52 per cent were boys while the other 49.48 per cent were girls.

Tom Staggard


Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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