South Shields couple welcome baby on Christmas Day

South Tyneside Christmas baby.'Mother Marie Cawley, father Simon Zabrocki and baby Clark James Zabrocki
South Tyneside Christmas baby.'Mother Marie Cawley, father Simon Zabrocki and baby Clark James Zabrocki

A couple who were looking forward to welcoming their baby on New Year’s Day got an extra special Christmas surprise when he made an early appearance.

Clark James Zabrocki arrived just before 6.30am on Friday, with his parents Marie Cawley and Simon declaring his birth: “The best Christmas present we could ever hope for.”

It’s so overwhelming and everyone wasn’t expecting him for another week.

Marie Cawley

Marie, 30, who works for Lancome in Sunderland’s Debenhams store, and Simon, 29, a personal trainer who works in Newcastle, had been told to expect him to arrive around January 1,

But Marie went into slow labour last Monday, with midwives telling her it could take up to two weeks for him to be delivered.

On Christmas Eve night, there were signs he would arrive sooner and by morning, Clark had been born at South Tyneside District Hospital in one of its birthing pools.

Marie said: “It’s amazing, and obviously very emotional. We had a good idea he might be here for Christmas.

“It’s so overwhelming and everyone wasn’t expecting him for another week.

“It’s the best Christmas present we could ever hope for.

“All the family woke on Christmas Day to a photo of him and they can’t wait to meet him.”

Marie was also supported at the maternity unit by her mum Denise Baxter, who accompanied the couple as they left hospital during early afternoon, then cooked up a Christmas dinner for them and seven others.

The South Shields couple have sent their thanks to the maternity team at the hospital, with special thanks to Delia Brennan, who is retiring from the unit this year.

Simon said: “This will be the last of her Christmas babies.

“She was absolutely fantastic, amazing, and kept us all calm.

“She was there from the start to the finish.”