A REDDITCH couple were among a number of families welcoming newborn bundles of joy to the world on the first day of the new year, at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Heather James, aged 24, and Tom Johnson-Hosker, 26, from Redditch welcomed their first child together at 1.41am.

Baby Scarlett was born weighing 7.9 lbs, however she came slightly early as she was due on January 4.

Heather said: “Giving birth was not as bad as I thought. I prepared myself for the worse.

“The contractions were the worst bit because I was having them for so long throughout the day. I was trying to go as long as possible without pain relief.

"I had an epidural which I was against at first, but once I had it, it was the best thing I could have done. It really was amazing."

Heather and Tom are thrilled as the couple said it was their biggest wish to have a baby girl.

Tom said: “It is a really amazing feeling to be a father. It is so overwhelming, there is no other feeling like it.

“Heather did really well, I am so proud of her. We are so happy we have a little girl.

Tom added that all the staff at the hospital were in a good mood, considering they were working New Years Day.

"They all work very hard,” he added.

Kathy Dewhurst, a midwife at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, said: “It is a wonderful part of the job when the babies have been delivered.

"It is always nice to see Christmas and new year babies – it is so special.”