New Year brings baby joy

By Danielle Nuttall, Juliette Maxam and Benedict O'ConnorWHILE most families were toasting the New Year at parties, some couples in East Anglia had a rather different cause to celebrate.

By Danielle Nuttall, Juliette Maxam and Benedict O'Connor

WHILE most families were toasting the New Year at parties, some couples in East Anglia had a rather different cause to celebrate.

For yesterday saw the arrival of a handful of newborn babies at hospitals in Suffolk and Essex - giving their parents the best possible start to 2006.

Alice and Robert Paul, of Wherstead, near Ipswich, saw the birth of their first child at 7.30am at Ipswich Hospital.

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The baby girl, who has not yet been named, weighed 7lb12oz and was happily snuggling into her mother's arms in hospital yesterday afternoon.

Mrs Paul, 30, said the little girl had been due on Christmas Eve and she expected her to arrive on Christmas Day rather than New Year's Day.

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“My mother came up for Christmas because she was due but she left on Friday,” said Mrs Paul, who is originally from Hertfordshire. “There were thoughts she might arrive on Christmas Day.

“There are a couple of names on the list. I've sent my husband away to get some sleep so he can come up with a name. People said when you see your baby you will know but I haven't got a clue.

“We didn't know the baby's sex beforehand but we didn't have any boy's names either.”

The first day of the New Year was also the first day of parenthood for several couples around north Essex.

Melissa Nicholas gave birth to her first baby, Abbie, at 6.35am at Colchester General Hospital.

Mrs Nicholas, of Clacton, went into labour at 7pm on New Year's Eve, and husband Chris took her to hospital at 1am.

Little Abbie weighed in at 7lbs 15oz. She was due on December 27, but held on to make a memorable entry into the world. New Year's Day was already extra special for the couple as it is the same day they got engaged two years ago, said Mr Nicholas.

Mrs Nicholas said: “We're really thrilled. It's overwhelming. We didn't expect this on New Year's Day.”

Jacqueline Turner, also of Clacton, gave birth to her first child, a newborn son, Mason, at 9.39am at Colchester General Hospital. The baby, who weighed 6lbs 6oz, was born two weeks early.

Dad, Kevin, was walking through the door of the hospital at 12.05am when a friend rang him up to wish him a happy New Year.

Thankfully the couple did not have anything planned for New Year's Eve because Mrs Turner had a feeling the baby would be early.

Natalie Rice, of Panfield, near Braintree, became a mum at 12.10pm when she gave birth to Mia at William Julien Courtauld Hospital, in Braintree. She was due on December 28 and weighed 6lbs 15oz.

Mrs Rice's husband, Ian, said: “She [Natalie] was in labour for about 11 hours. We didn't see anything of the New Year celebrations.”

Alex James Wilson was born to his parents Kerry and Scott at 8.23am in St John's hospital, Chelmsford, weighing 8lbs 12.5oz.

Catherine and Terry Keep, of Woodham Walter, had a 9lb son at St Peter's Hospital, Maldon, at 9.40am but yesterday they also had not yet named their son.

Two families in west Suffolk began the New Year with new and welcome additions to their households.

The first of the new arrivals, Joshua Wilson, was born at the West Suffolk Hospital at 8.34am on New Year's Day, the first child of Cheryl Whetton and Ian Wilson.

Joshua weighed in at a healthy 7lb 14 oz, and his parents, who live at Beck Row, near Mildenhall, said they were “absolutely delighted” with their firstborn.

Shortly afterwards, Alice May Mumford arrived at 10.48am. Her parents Carol and Neil, of Newton, Sudbury, were overjoyed with their baby girl, who weighed 8lb 5oz, and who is a sister to Jessica.

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