Second National Day baby for couple

Two years after the birth of their daughter on National Day, a Singaporean couple welcomed their second child - a son - at the stroke of midnight yesterday.

The nation's first new citizen of the day, which commemorated Singapore's 53rd year of independence, was born at Parkway East Hospital.

As soon as baby Muhammad Aqil Fayyadh was delivered safe and sound at 23 seconds past the hour, the doctor broke into a rendition of Majulah Singapura, his mother, Ms Nuraidillah Rapi'e, 29, told The Straits Times.

The same doctor helped to deliver the couple's first child, two-year-old Nurdaneya Filza.

Both Aqil Fayyadh and Nurdaneya Filza had due dates in the second half of August and were early surprises, said their father Firman Akhfar Ismaal, 29, a prime mover driver.

Ms Nuraidillah, an architecture draftsman, said: "He was due on Aug 18, but yesterday I started to have contractions so we decided to come in.

"The labour this time was shorter and I was more prepared after having the first one."

After three hours in labour, baby Aqil Fayyadh, whose name means intelligent and generous - traits the couple hope their son will grow to possess - was delivered, weighing 3.4kg.

Yesterday afternoon, the hospital presented the family with a cake in the shape of a Singapore flag to celebrate the children's birthdays.

The couple, who have been married for three years, said it was a pleasant surprise to have both of them born on the same day.

Said Ms Nuraidillah: "It's a double celebration to have both children share the same birthday, especially on National Day. They're celebrating with Singapore too."