WHEN Gemma Woodhouse was planning her Christmas day celebrations, they didn’t include having a baby.
But, at 17 minutes past midnight, Gemma became the mum to the first Christmas Day baby born at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham for 2013.
It had been a difficult pregnancy throughout, because, after 16 years of trying for a second baby, Gemma conceived daughter Amelia via IVF treatment.
She said: ‘Amelia was due on January 12, but I was booked in to have a Caesarean section on January 8.
‘I went into natural labour on Christmas Eve at about 5pm, and I knew it was the real thing because the contractions were every 10 minutes and getting stronger.’
But things didn’t quite go according to plan for Gemma, 36.
She said: ‘I had pre-eclampsia so I had to have an emergency C-section. It was all quite a bit of a surprise.
‘I came into hospital but didn’t think I would have a Christmas Day baby.
‘But this is the best Christmas present ever. She’s beautiful and adorable.’
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that develops in the second half of pregnancy and which, if left untreated, can lead to life-threatening seizures.
Gemma was still in hospital on Boxing Day with Amelia, who was 6lb 4oz, and says they will have a Christmas Day when they are back home in Baffins with her husband and new father Matthew, 43.
There were six Christmas Day babies born at Queen Alexandra Hospital.
The next to be born after Amelia was Ava Lilly Harris, a daughter for Dale and Holly Harris, who live in Poole.
They are returning home to live in Portsmouth and had always planned to have their baby in the city so their family could look after their two-year-old while they were in the hospital.
Ava was due on December 29 but Holly began the early stages of labour on Sunday so the pair took the decision to travel early. Ava was born at 3.55am on Christmas Day, weighing 6lb 1oz.
‘It is special having a Christmas Day baby, and because we were able to leave at 9am we could go home and open presents with our little boy,’ said Dale, 24.
Sally Watkins didn’t make it to QA before she gave birth to her daughter, known for now as Pryde, weighing 6lb 14oz. Sally’s partner, Duncan Pryde, said: ‘Sally went into labour at about 4pm and it didn’t seem like anything was happening, but then the contractions started happening. I phoned the ambulance and Sally went in it while I dropped our other kids at a friend’s house.
‘By the time I got to the hospital it had all happened – she had been delivered by the paramedic in the ambulance.’
The couple already have five-year-old twins, and the whole family was back together by 11am on Christmas Day at home in Southsea. ‘It was all very unexpected,’ said Duncan, 40.
Rebecca Hedeker was in for some drama on Christmas Day, after the decision was taken to deliver her son, William, via C-section. He was born at 7.08am weighing 9lb 8oz.
Rebecca’s husband Michael said: ‘We’re still getting our heads around it, but it’s certainly the best present I could have wished for.’
Daisy Parsons was not supposed to have her daughter, Holly-Rose, until February 8.
But Daisy’s high blood pressure throughout her pregnancy meant the medics at QA had to step in early and induce her seven weeks premature.
Holly-Rose arrived weighing 4lb 2oz at 10.47am, an hour and seven minutes after being induced.
‘I had pre-eclampsia with my other two children, but they went full term,’ said Daisy, 21, from Gosport.
‘She had stopped growing so they had to get her out quickly. She’ll be in intensive care now until her due date, but she’s okay.’
Finally, Jacob was born to parents Emily Cornish, 18, and Michael Falconer, 21, from Eastney. He was due on Boxing Day, but Emily went into labour at 4.15am on Christmas morning. Jacob was born at 1.48pm, weighing 7lb 4oz.
‘Our main priority was for him to be born healthy,’ said Michael.