WHILE most were tucking into their turkeys and unwrapping presents, Great Western Hospital was busy helping new families make it a Christmas to remember.
On Christmas day a total of six new babies were born, five boys and one girl. It was a quieter day than normal for the midwives but extra special for the families involved.
Among them was the Law family, of Wanborough, who welcomed baby Stanley into the world shortly after 3pm weighing 8lbs 2oz.
“It was a bit of a surprise as he was not due until January 4 but certainly a nice one,” said mum Emma, 30.
“I think he wanted to see Christmas. We were due to meet family and have lunch but we had to call them to say we were busy.”
Dad Matthew, 34, said the couple now had to decide how to cope with the problem facing every parent with a Christmas baby.
He said: “We’re not sure how to celebrate his birthday. My birthday is December 14 so we have some experience in the family of making sure he won’t feel left out.
“We could split the day in half, celebrating Christmas in the morning and his birthday in the afternoon or celebrate a half birthday in June.”
The first baby to arrive at the GWH on the 25th was Alice Heyman, weighing 8lbs 10oz at 4.17am.
“It’s the best present we could have got and we’re both so happy,” said mum Philippa, 34,alongside proud dad David, 33, for whom Alice was their first child.
“She was due on December 18 so it was a bit of waiting game but it’s made Christmas. I think Christmas is going to be extra special from now on, especially next year.
“Once we get home we’re going to both celebrate Christmas I think.”
Although for the midwives on duty it is another working day, every effort is made to make the mums and families on the ward feel as festive as possible.
Each new family is given a gift of a blanket, knitted by volunteers, and visiting hours are eased to allow excited families to meet the new member.
Ursula O’Dowd, a midwifery sister, said: “I think there is always a bit of a special atmosphere on the ward on Christmas Day.
“We try to make it as festive as possible for the nurses as well. Everyone bought in something and one of the consultants is from Egypt and his wife made a big lamb dish for everyone.
“It’s a special day anyway when a new baby is born but I think it means something extra when it is at Christmas.”