Dad plays starring role in birth of Rotorua’s first 2021 baby

Tiletta Taiatini grabbed a hospital apron, chucked on a pair of rubber gloves and within minutes he was guiding his baby girl into the world.

The 24-year-old proud dad of Rotorua’s first baby born in 2021 works as a security guard, but he’s starting to think a career in midwifery might be more the ticket.

At 1.30am today, he helped bring one of his children into the world for the second time.

Mum Jezika Hodge couldn’t stop giggling this morning at her “hands-on” partner as they recounted their funny birth story to the Rotorua Daily Post.

Taiatini, 24, was just winding up his shift working security at the Night Market New Year’s Eve event in Rotorua’s central city when Hodge, 22, who was three days overdue, was at home starting to have contractions.

Being her third child, she didn’t panic too much and the pair leisurely headed to Rotorua Hospital after midnight. While standing on the steps to the birthing unit, she called her midwife to let her know.

But things got under way quicker than they thought and the pair found themselves in a birthing room with just a doctor. Without being asked, Taiatini started “gloving up” and got ready to catch. With one push, their first baby girl was there.

“After making us wait three days over my due date she came out so fast. The midwife arrived and we had to say ‘sorry she’s already here’.”

Taiatini said he was just so happy at the time and was “in the moment”.

“It was cool as. I grabbed the head and pulled the body out,” Taiatini said.

He said he knew what he was doing after helping their second son, Khavan, 1, be born a year ago when their midwife got busy birthing another baby.

When asked what he did when their first son, Jahkani, 2, was born, Taiatini joked that for that birth he was just “a watch and learn kind of guy”.

But there won’t be a fourth time to master the art, as Hodge is quite adamant that after now having three children under 2, she now “has got her girl” and is done.

The couple, who have been together for five years, now have the difficult task of whittling down their girl name options.

For now, they are super happy to have the first Rotorua baby of 2021.

“It’s definitely a great start to the new year,” a chuffed Hodge said.

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