AS they sat wrapping presents on Christmas Eve, Stacey Archibald and Marley Newlands knew there was a strong chance they were set to receive the most precious gift of all.
The young couple became parents for a second time yesterday – with their baby daughter, Hollie, born at 4.47am on Christmas Day.
The “perfect present” arrived after Stacey, 27, felt her contractions getting more frequent as the pair finished their festive preparations at their home in Dalkeith.
Rushing to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, little Hollie was born just a few hours later, weighing 7lb 8oz.
Stacey said: “She was due on December 20 so she was five days late. She is the perfect Christmas present and her big sister Nicole will be really chuffed.
“We had been wrapping Christmas presents and my contractions had started. They started getting more regular in the evening.
Hollie was due on December 20 so she was five days late. She is the perfect Christmas present and her big sister Nicole will be really chuffedStacey Archibald
“Marley and my sister took me into hospital. It all went really well. People are saying the name Hollie is nice because of the Christmas connection but it’s been a name I always liked. She was just born on Christmas.”
Proud dad Marley, 29, a web design student, added: “I’m over the moon. It’s the best Christmas present ever.”
But little Hollie wasn’t the first Christmas Day baby to be born in the Lothians.
Sarah Clark, 30, from East Calder, gave birth to her second son Ryan Andrew at St John’s Hospital in Livingston at 12.18am.
The birth was four weeks earlier than expected, and followed days of to-ing and fro-ing between home and hospital.
Her waters had broken on Monday evening and she was later taken to hospital by her brother before being released on Wednesday.
But at dinnertime on Christmas Eve, her contractions were only minutes apart and she had to be rushed to hospital by her parents before eventually giving birth to her son. Little Ryan weighed a healthy 7lb 11oz.
Sarah, a second-time mum, hopes that her older son – two-year old Corey Mattchett – will “grow to love” the new arrival.
Sarah said: “It’s been a bit rocky but I’ve been so glad to have the support of my family and doctors throughout my pregnancy.
“My parents live only two doors down so they were really quick in getting me on the road to hospital. It was just so painful on Christmas Eve and I’d only left hospital the day before.
“Mum kept asking me in the car what was going on and if I was alright. It was a stressful few hours.
“But it was all worth it when I was finally able to hold him in my arms.
“It felt so amazing to finally have him here after a turbulent year.
“He’s been an angel so far. He hasn’t really cried at all. He has just slept and looked very content with himself. Hopefully he’ll stay that way.
“Christmas has always been my favourite holiday but this is like all of them have come at once. Corey will never have seen a newborn baby before so I’m not sure how he’ll react. Hopefully, he will learn to love him in time.”