A beautiful baby girl was a surprise Christmas present for a Brackley couple.
Little Lola Robyn Harber was not due until New Year’s Day.
But much to the surprise of her parents Colin Harber and Larna Wilkie, the 6lb 6oz tot decided to arrive a week early, at 4.30am on Christmas Day, making her the first baby born in Northants this Christmas.
Colin, aged 43, who is an estate agent at Davies and Partners in Brackley, said: “It was totally unexpected. It was all planned to go to hospital.
“We didn’t think she was going to be born on Christmas morning.”
Lola’s birth took just three hours from start to finish, Colin’s two children from his previous marriage, nine-year-old Elysia and Kayla, aged five, were staying the night, and Colin and Larna were up late putting presents under the Christmas tree when Larna, aged 23, began to feel a few pains but didn’t think too much of it.
At about 1am, contractions started in earnest and after a while Colin called Larna’s mum, Tracey Dunn, who also lives in Brackley.
Colin said: “I said to Tracey ‘I think contractions have started but we’re not too sure. Come round for a cup of tea and see what you think’.”
Tracey arrived at about 3.20am, by which time they realised the baby was on its way.
At 4.10am, Elysia and Kayla were collected to stay with friends and Colin called an ambulance, which arrived 45 minutes later.
But Lola wasn’t going to wait and together Colin and Tracey helped delivere her in the main bedroom, as Colin stayed on the phone to the ambulance service.
Colin said: “Larna was very calm. I was really proud of her.
“The baby wasn’t traumatised at all. The head came out and then the body came out on the next contraction.
“It was a totally special experience.”
Twenty minutes later, the paramedics arrived, followed by the midwives, and little Lola was pronounced fit and well, with no need to go to hospital.
A delighted Elysia and Kayla arrived home to meet their baby sister at about 10am.
“It was the best Christmas present they could have had,” said Colin.
The experience was all the more poignant for Colin and Larna as they had suffered the trauma of a stillbirth in January.
Colin said: “We’re still in complete shock.
“It’s complete jubilation, especially after what happened earlier in the year.”