Sunderland celebrated some very special Christmas Day deliveries.
Seven babies were eager to join in the festive fun by making their arrival on Christmas Day at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Among them was Thea Catherine Grogan who made an unexpected appearance four days early.
Dad Michael, said his wife, Natalie, was not due to have the baby girl until the end of the month, but went into labour in the early hours of Christmas Day.
The 38-year-old, said: “We were told she might come early because our first baby was early, but we weren’t expecting it to be Christmas Day.”
They woke their son Adam, five, up at 4am so they could watch him quickly open some Christmas presents before going to hospital.
She is the best Christmas presentMichael Grogan
After a short labour little Thea Catherine arrived at 11.32am, weighing 7lb 10oz, both she and Natalie, 28, are fine and they were allowed to return to their home in Murton later that day.
Michael, an IT manager, said: “She is the best Christmas present and Adam is so chuffed, he can’t leave her alone.”
The proud dad said he and Natalie, who works in customer services, are delighted their daughter has a Christmas Day birthday.
Another mum, Louise Eccles, 28, didn’t really want her son to be born on Christmas Day, but had no choice because little Albie Eccles decided to make his appearance at 4.28pm on Christmas Day, weighing 8lb 1oz.
Hairdresser Louise and welder husband, Daniel, 28, from Ryhope, didn’t arrive at the hospital till 2.30pm, so they had the chance to see daughter, Molly, four, open her Christmas presents and even have their Christmas dinner.
Louise said: “He was due on the 22nd, but didn’t come until Christmas Day. Molly was due on Christmas Day, but came on December 23.”
Fellow new mum, Dawn Hall, 35, delivered her baby boy a day early, because he was due on Boxing Day.
She and partner, Ross Monaghan, 26, who live in Monkwearmouth, had to scrap their Christmas Day celebrations when Dawn’s waters broke shortly after 8am on Christmas Day and Baby Monaghan, who has yet to be named, arrived at 5.30pm weighing 7lb 9.5oz.
Dawn, who is also mum to 17-year-old Chloe, said: “I had just got up and work my daughter up to open the presents when my waters broke, so we had to make our way to the hospital.
“People kept saying they thought he would be born on Christmas Day, but I really didn’t think he would. I was quite surprised when he did.”
Another youngster to make an early appearance was Ava Meghan Smith, who was born by emergency caesarean section at 6.53pm, weighing 6lb 10oz.
Mum, Lesley Hill, 28, went into labour in the early hours of Christmas Day and after watching their older children, Sophie, nine, and five-year-old Jack, open their presents, she and partner, Mark Smith, 30, made their way to hospital.
The Washington couple said there were a few complications and doctors decided the safest thing was to carry out a c-section, but thankfully mother and baby are both fine.