Scotland’s first Christmas baby proved to be a very early present for his parents, arriving more than two weeks ahead of schedule.
And another Christmas baby really caught his parents on the hop, by being delivered in their car at a petrol station
Ruraidh Cumming was born at 12:08am at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, West Lothian, weighing 5lbs 7oz.
Parents Lesley Alexander, 44, and Ian Cumming, 51, were not expecting his arrival until 9 January and planned to celebrate Christmas Day with a turkey dinner at a neighbours’ house.
A delighted Ms Alexander described Ruraidh as a “special present”.
“I wasn’t planning on having the first Christmas baby in Scotland, but Ruraidh had other ideas. It is overwhelming having a baby normally, but to have one on Christmas Day is even more overwhelming.
“He’s gorgeous. It is a special present, the best I could have got.”
Ms Alexander said the birth had particular meaning, as she had previously suffered the heartbreak of four miscarriages.
She added: “I thought he would maybe arrive at New Year. It came as a big surprise.
“I thought I was in false labour on Monday and I didn’t pay much attention to it. I phoned the hospital last night and they confirmed I was in labour and said the baby was in breach.”
However, the birth went smoothly and, according to Mr Cumming, Ruraidh was unperturbed by his early arrival.
He added: “It’s absolutely fantastic. We have waited a long time for it. He’s brilliant and has taken very well to his first Christmas. We’re delighted.”
Shortly after Ruraidh arrived, another boy was born at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert. Ashley Russell and Conor Hunter from Stirling welcomed baby Logan into the world at 12:45am. The newborn weighed 6lb 70z.
He was joined just afterwards by Glasgow’s first Christmas baby, Benjamin Smith, who was born at 1:07am in the city’s Princess Royal Maternity Hospital to Charlene Nicolay-Smith, 29, and Kieran Smith, 31.
Meanwhile, for one Edinburgh couple, a premature birth resulted in their child being delivered in a petrol station.
Nicola McDowall gave birth at the Sainbury’s petrol station at Edinburgh’s Cameron Toll shopping centre after going into labour on Monday night.
Fortunately, in a “one in a million” chance, a community midwife was filling her car at the same time and stepped in to help deliver the child in the back of a car.
Ms McDowall had been at home looking after sons Fraser, seven, and Arran, three, when she went into labour shortly before 9pm. She and her partner, Julian Skinner, were on their way to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary when they had to pull over, as the baby refused to wait.
“I just jumped out of the car and flew into the petrol station and told the guy to get some help,” Mr Skinner said.
“I was pretty scared. The next thing I knew, a woman stepped forward and said she was a midwife, she was just getting some petrol. The chances are probably about one in a million.”
Ms McDowall said: “She helped deliver him and she really was an angel of mercy. I was pretty scared. I was not sure if the ambulance would get there in time.”
The healthy boy, who was due last Wednesday, was born at about 9:17pm.
“Everything went well and he is doing absolutely fine, and so am I,” Ms McDowall said.
The couple have not yet decided on a name, but said Cameron would be their son’s middle name, after his place of birth.