Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Just Born: Dara Batts

Proud parents: Steve and Antonina with daughter Dara
Baby Lucas Marshall with mum Anna and dad Paul
Lyndsey Straney with her newborn daughter Sophie Claire

Proud parents Antonina Sheina and Steve Batts were keen for their baby girl’s name to reflect their diverse backgrounds.

Born in Londonderry, the couple chose the name Dara in recognition of the country of her birth and her mother’s native Russia.

Antonina explained that ‘Dara’ means oak in Irish, while the word ‘dar' means gift in Russian.

Steve (51), who owns a dance theatre company that has toured throughout Europe, agreed their daughter's name reflected the many cultures the couple have experienced together.

Dara was welcomed into the world in a birthing pool at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry, weighing in at a healthy 7lbs.

After visiting the hospital’s maternity unit the previous evening, the couple had decided to spend the night at home and return in the morning. Antonina (26) had just about enough time to hop into the water before their daughter made her arrival, only 30 minutes after reaching the hospital.

Antonina wanted Dara’s birth to be as natural as possible.

“I didn't want any painkillers,” she said.

“The experience is so great and it is silly to avoid nature. It is a good pain, your body knows how to deal with it.”

The help and support from the Altnagelvin’s midwifery staff was “invaluable” to the couple during the delivery, they said.

Dara, the couple’s first child, is proving a lively baby.

“She seems to be learning very quickly,” Antonina added.

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