Gallery: Record number of Christmas day newborns in the west of the county

West Suffolk Hospital Christmas babies. Father is Nigel Tonkins with son Dylan Tonkins.

West Suffolk Hospital Christmas babies. Father is Nigel Tonkins with son Dylan Tonkins. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A record number of healthy happy Christmas bundles of joy arrived at West Suffolk Hospital’s birthing unit yesterday - some of them much earlier than scheduled.

Eight babies were born between the hours of midnight and midday – six boys and two girls – with the first arriving in the early hours of Christmas morning.

With other expectant mums in labour, staff at the unit in Bury St Edmunds were predicting the number of festive newborns to reach double figures before the day was out.

Among the first to make an appearance in the unusually busy unit was Tajus Steponaviciute born to proud mum Lara, 20, and dad Audrius, from Thetford.

Arriving at 2am and weighing in at 7lb 3½oz, Tajus was born on his due date so was always destined to be a Christmas baby, according to his mum.


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But the parents of young Dylan Tonkins on the other hand – who was born shortly after Tajus at 2.52am – were not expecting him to arrive until January 19.

Mum Jade Turner and dad Nigel Tonkins, from the Springfield area of Bury, had quite a surprise when their 6lb 9½oz baby boy came four weeks early and after a labour of just three hours. However, the arrival of their new son was not going to curtail the couple’s Christmas plans.

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Ms Turner said: “We will still be going to my uncle’s for Christmas lunch today but he will be getting an unexpected extra guest.

“I am sure everyone will be spoiling Dylan and it will be hugs all round.”

The couple have already decided to give their son an “extra birthday” in June to make up for being born on Christmas day so he doesn’t miss out on presents.

In Ipswich, Matilda Elizabeth Bebbington was born at 2.22am, and was Georgina Fosdike and Michael Bebbington’s first child together.

Weighing 7lb 10oz, Matilda was due on December 19, and the couple had joked that the baby would be born on Christmas Day.

They added: “It feels amazing, we still can’t believe it.

“It was a big surpises, and the whole world will celebrate her birthday now as well.

“You’re told to buy the paper on the day your baby is born but as it’s December 25 we’ll have to buy it tomorrow instead!”

At 3pm, the hospital had also had two other Christmas Day births.

Meanwhile in north Essex, there were just three babies born on Christmas morning and a further three mums were in labour in the early afternoon. The first arrived at 3.22am at the midwifery led maternity unit at Colchester Hospital, with the second arriving at 6.38am in Clacton.

The third north Essex Christmas baby came along just after 10am also at Colchester Hospital. A spokeswoman at the unit said they would normally expect to see around five or six babies born on a bank holiday or weekend day so they were on target for an “average” number of Christmas births.

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