AS a senior Royal Navy nursing officer, Heather Jaffrey is used to the high drama of war zones.
But nothing could have prepared her for the bundle of joy she and her partner Jamie Tregale have named Iona Louise.
Their 8lb 3oz baby was the first child born on New Year’s Day at Queen Alexandra Hospital’s labour ward.
There was drama when complications meant doctors had to perform an emergency caesarean section at 2.20am, but mother and baby are doing fine.
Heather, 39, from Whiteley, said: ‘I’d planned a very peaceful birth and that’s not what happened but she’s here now and I’m delighted.
‘She is beautiful, perfect in all respects, and the most contented little thing. She is wonderful but I’m not sure how long that’s going to last! I find myself just gazing at her.’
Following a six-month tour of Afghanistan in 2011, where Heather was in charge of the emergency department, the couple decided to try for a baby and just months later she was pregnant.
She said: ‘I certainly don’t think I could leave her and go out to a war zone now.
‘I loved being in Afghanistan – it was a phenomenal tour, but your priorities change.’
Olly Root was the first boy born in the labour ward at 4.56am, weighing 7lb 12oz.
Proud dad Glynn, a bank worker from Dampier Close, Gosport, joked he was seven years in the making.
Glynn, 32, said: ‘My wife Mel and I went to various different consultants over the years and were eight weeks away from beginning Clomid, a treatment that encourages egg production.
‘Mel started feeling a bit dizzy and I suggested doing a pregnancy test. We’d done so many over the years that as soon as she did it she threw it away.
‘Something made me go back and have another look at it and I saw the faintest mark.
‘Mel was just about to go out trampolining with the guys from work and instead we rushed out to buy more tests.
‘It wasn’t until the scan that it began to feel real.
‘I’m speechless that he’s here. It’s amazing.
‘Mel had to have an emergency caesarean section and when he arrived I was a blubbering wreck. I melted at the sight of him.’
Pat Mooney, deputy head of midwifery at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, said: ‘Having a baby is always very special, but to start a new year with a new baby is very special indeed.
‘We hope 2013 is full of health and happiness for these babies and their parents.’