Early arrival: Senator Penny Wong holds hands with new daughter Alexandra in Adelaide as partner Sophie Allouache looks on.
While Canberra was mesmerised with the base plots and B-grade intrigues of an end-of-year cabinet reshuffle, Penny Wong and Sophie Allouache were preoccupied with their own epochal moment - the joy of new parenthood.
The most anticipated newborn in federal politics - baby Alexandra - entered the world quietly, two weeks early, on Sunday at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide.
It was a natural delivery for first-time mother Ms Allouache, a public servant. The ebullience of the new parents is captured in the above photo.
''My partner, Sophie Allouache, and I are thrilled to welcome the arrival of our baby daughter, Alexandra, born in Adelaide on December 11,'' the Finance Minister said last night in a statement.
''Both mother and baby are happy and healthy. Like any family welcoming a new addition, we are looking forward to spending time at home together and ask for our privacy to be respected at this time.''
The ever private Wong was still in the process of delivering the news to political colleagues last night. Prime Minister Julia Gillard led the congratulations.
''I am thrilled for Penny and Sophie - this is wonderful news, and Alexandra is beautiful and a source of joy,'' she said.
Despite the recent affirmation of gay marriage by Labor's national conference - a debate in which Senator Wong played a high-profile advocacy role - the Finance Minister has said consistently she does not want her personal life to be a political statement.
Yesterday Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd's sister, Loree Rudd, 61, quit the ALP, saying she could not support a party that ''endorsed homosexuals marrying''.
In confirming Ms Allouache's pregnancy this year, Senator Wong said: ''I can understand for some people it may give rise to a whole range of political and policy comment … the way I want to approach this in my own head has been to be very clear about the distinction between what is political and what is personal, what is my public life and what is my private life. I don't want to engage in the policy debate about these issues in the context of something that is so deeply personal and so lovely.''
Alexandra was conceived through IVF. The father will be known to the child.
Leave a message of congratulations for Penny and Sophie on the Essential Baby Forums.