Ardern introduces baby Neve to NZ
‘‘It’s also the place where all my family are from and I grew up under that mountain,’’ Ardern said. She joked she and Gayford had ‘‘gone for simplicity’’ with the spelling of ‘‘Neve’’, ‘‘because Clarke with an ‘e’ has caused all sorts of problems, and Jacinda with a ‘d’.’’
Ardern said the family was doing well – ‘‘sleep-deprived, but super well’’.
She thanked staff at the hospital for their care, as well as all the New Zealanders who had sent messages of support and handmade gifts.
‘‘Those moments have mattered as much to us as any of those lovely messages of support from around the world.’’
Gayford said he would never forget the look on Ardern’s face when she held their daughter for the first time. ‘‘It was all a bit of a blur for the both of us ... she looked absolutely just stunned and very, very happy.’’
Ardern is taking six weeks of maternity leave before returning to Parliament, when Gayford will care for the baby fulltime.
Earlier, former prime minister Helen Clark said the birth was ‘‘very significant, because of the message it’s sending about the modern family’’.
Mothers could have top careers, while fathers could be stay-at-home dads, Clark said.
‘‘For younger men and women, [Ardern and Gayford] are very, very powerful role models.’’
The couple announced their baby’s arrival on Instagram on Thursday evening.
‘‘Welcome to our village wee one,’’ Ardern wrote.
After a sleepless first night at the hospital, her press secretary announced she would stay on the maternity ward for another night. On Saturday, it was announced she would remain there for a third night due to the security requirements involved in transferring to nearby Birthcare.
Ardern’s mother, Laurell Ardern, reported on Saturday evening the baby girl had dark hair and dark eyes.
Neve looked more like her father than her mother, the proud grandmother said.
‘‘I think there might be a bit of Clarke . . . she doesn’t look like Jacinda as a baby, because she’s more tiny. [Jacinda] didn’t look tired at all. She looked good.’’