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Darwin's first 2017 baby for paralysed dad

AAP logoAAP 2/01/2017 Lucy Hughes Jones

Darwin's first baby born in 2017 is a miracle more than two decades in the making for a proud quadriplegic dad.

Eleven Parker McKenzie was born at 1.20am on January 1 at the Royal Darwin Hospital, and her arrival was a long time coming for parents Paul McKenzie and Jessica Parker.

Mr McKenzie broke his neck 21 years ago while diving into a river off a rope swing, leaving him paralysed.

A visiting Chinese doctor removed and froze the then 30-year-old's sperm and he's tried IVF unsuccessfully with previous partners.

"I've shed a lot of tears with other people in hospital corridors over the years. It's a heartbreaking place," he told AAP.

The couple started dating 18 months ago after meeting in Melbourne at a spinal rehab centre.

"I thought the opportunity was going to pass me by, and then to meet Jess, it was just a lucky chance," he said.

"We thought we'd have a crack at IVF and bang - it worked first time."

Ms Parker said she went into labour as the pair watched the 9pm Sydney New Year's Eve fireworks on television.

The 35-year-old said the pair was toying with the moniker Eleven but they had a short list of six names.

"She was born on the first of the first and then we realised we were in bed 11 of the maternity ward," Ms Parker said.

"That for me was confirmation, so we'll roll with it. She's our miracle baby."

The new mother said there's scope for baby Eleven to have a brother or sister further down the track.

"I don't particularly want to go through the birthing experience again, but I'm sure we'll get past that," she said.

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