Festive deliveries delight North Herts families

Gemma and Dave Braybrook with Emily Charlotte Braybrook

Gemma and Dave Braybrook with Emily Charlotte Braybrook - Credit: Archant

Proud parents across the North Herts celebrated extra special presents in the form of Christmas day babies – delighting siblings too.

Leoni and Lee Arbuckle with son, Cole, 4, and Cooper Arbuckle

Leoni and Lee Arbuckle with son, Cole, 4, and Cooper Arbuckle - Credit: Archant

Gemma Braybrook, 34, – who gave birth to six pounds seven and a half ounces Emily Braybrook at her home in Henlow – went to bed on Christmas Eve still expecting to give birth on her due date of January 4.

However, as she told the Comet: “I woke up on Christmas morning and the labour had started mildly. My husband had been on the phone to the Lister and they were aware of it so we just put the turkey on.

“But then my waters broke at 10.30am. My husband was on the phone to 999 and they were preparing him to deliver the baby.

“The paramedics called the midwife but the ambulance arrived first – I don’t think my husband has ever been so happy to hear the sound of an ambulance siren as it meant he wouldn’t have to deliver Emily!

Yenton Wright and Dega Wright with Tiana Wright

Yenton Wright and Dega Wright with Tiana Wright - Credit: Archant


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“I didn’t even get the chance to get out of bed – friends and family had said to me during my pregnancy I might be having a Christmas baby but I was so sure I wasn’t – it was a bit of a shock, we didn’t even have time to eat the turkey or open our presents.

“Emily is the best present of all, although we will have to start saving up now for her joint Christmas and birthday presents next year!”

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Husband Dave Braybrooke, who volunteered as a ‘games maker’ during the 2012 London Paralympics, and is the official photographer for Arlesey Town FC said: “I’m so happy. She’s beautiful. And it was best I didn’t go to the Hitchin versus Arlesey derby on Boxing day!”

Leoni Arbuckle, 34, from Stotfold gave birth to Cooper – weighing seven pounds thirteen ounces – on Christmas day.

She said: “We were in denial – we never thought Cooper would be born on Christmas day. We have a four-year-old son, Cole, who is delighted. He even bought his new sister a present called My Power Violet.

“Cole told us last year he wanted a sister for Christmas – it was a bit short notice at the time but he’s overjoyed he got his wish this year!”

“It was nice we had Christmas morning with Cole opening presents first before we went to the Lister.

“We spoilt him rotten – even if we opened his Scalextric and Robot Dinosaurs between contractions!

“My husband Lee and I always wanted two children so when Cooper arrived we just felt complete and now feel like a ‘proper’ family – we don’t have plans for any more Christmas babies!

“I did hypnobirthing [a relaxation and self-hypnosis labour technique] – it was a lovely and natural way to bring Coper into the world.

“It’s been great as the whole family has been toasting us, even my cousin in Australia. Cooper is beautiful, it’s just amazing.”

Mrs Dega Wright from Hitchin gave birth to seven pounds 12 ounces Tiana at 7.18am at the Lister Hospital after having gone into labour in the early hours of Christmas day.

Mother Dega said: “I have two sons already. Dwayne (Wright) is 21 and Jordane (Wright) is 18 but they are very happy they are getting a new sister.

“My husband is very proud too.”

Although Tiana’s arrival was all a bit too much for her husband Mr Yenton Wright as Dega added when asked by the Comet if we could speak with the happy father she told us: “He can’t come to the phone he’s sleeping!”

There were nine births in total at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage which included Emily’s home arrival.

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