New Year babies bring joy

Ezrah Parkinson was  born 12:30am on 1st January 2016 weighing 8lb 4oz to Zoe and Rory Parkinson from Ashton

Ezrah Parkinson was born 12:30am on 1st January 2016 weighing 8lb 4oz to Zoe and Rory Parkinson from Ashton

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Little Sophie Louise Richardson will have no difficulty remembering her birthday when she grows up.

She was the first baby of the new year to be born in Royal Preston Hospital’s Birth Centre.

Oscar Maxwell was born 1st January 2016 at 1:25am weighing 8lb 14oz to Natalie McEwan and Jamie Maxwell from Woodplumpton

Oscar Maxwell was born 1st January 2016 at 1:25am weighing 8lb 14oz to Natalie McEwan and Jamie Maxwell from Woodplumpton

The centre, which had its official opening in August, is designed to provide a home from home birth experience and proud mum Abbie Leafe, 24, gave it full marks.

Cradling Sophie who arrived at 8.44am, weighing six pounds 11 ozs, she said: “First of the first, 2016 - it’s a good date.”

Abbie, a support worker for people with learning disabilities, gave birth in the centre’s birthing pool and said: “I only had gas and air. It’s amazing how the pool takes the pain away.”

Her partner, joiner Matt Richardson, 36, summed up his wishes for the new arrival, a half-sister to his other children Louis, nine, and Layla, four, by saying: “Just whatever makes her happy.”

Sophie Louise Richardson was born 1st January 2016 at 8:44am weighing 6lb 11oz to Abbie Leafe and Matt Richardson from Chorley

Sophie Louise Richardson was born 1st January 2016 at 8:44am weighing 6lb 11oz to Abbie Leafe and Matt Richardson from Chorley

The couple of Fielden Street, Chorley, were driven to hospital in the early hours by Abbie’s mum Jan, who travelled over from Manchester after Abbie’s waters broke at midnight.

Matt added with a smile: “What a night to have to stay sober on!”

Meanwhile, there were other new year arrivals over on the hospital’s maternity wards.

First to be born there was Ezrah Parkinson who weighed in at 8lb 4 ozs, and arrived just 30 minutes into the new year.

A brother for Hope, five, his delighted parents Zoe and Rory Parkinson both teach at Preston College.

Baby Oscar Maxwell arrived at 1.25am, weighing 8lb 14 ozs.

Mum, dental nurse Natalie McEwan, of Woodplumpton, said she and partner roofer Jamie Maxwell had not planned for such a special start to the new year: “We didn’t expect a new year baby – January 8 was the due date.”

Oscar was induced and has been given a big welcome by big brother Ollie, four.