South Tyneside tot becomes hospital’s first Christmas Day baby

Andrew McIntosh and Ashleigh Dent with sons, five-year-old Frankie and baby Isaac.
Andrew McIntosh and Ashleigh Dent with sons, five-year-old Frankie and baby Isaac.

A South Shields tot’s late arrival made him the first Christmas Day baby in Sunderland hospital.

When mum, Ashleigh Dent, went five days over her due date, it became clear little Isaac wanted to make an appearance on an extra special day.

Isaac McIntosh was the first baby born on Christmas Day at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Isaac McIntosh was the first baby born on Christmas Day at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Ashleigh, 22, and her partner, Andrew McIntosh, 23, arrived at Sunderland Royal Hospital at around 9pm on Christmas Eve and Isaac was born at 1.33am on Christmas Day.

Ashleigh said: “At around 10.30pm the midwife came in to check me over and told us there was another woman in labour in the hospital and staff were discussing who would have the first Christmas Day baby.

“At that point I couldn’t have cared less about it, I just wanted it to be over. But, later when I found out it was me, I was pleased. I thought I’d never won a race in my life. I never win anything.”

And, because everything went smoothly with the birth, the Vine Street couple were back home at 2pm to celebrate Christmas Day and open presents with Isaac and older son, five-year-old Frankie.

The best Christmas present ever

Ashleigh Dent

Ashleigh said: “I really didn’t want him to be born on Christmas Day, because I didn’t want to be stuck in hospital over Christmas.

“But, he is really the best Christmas present ever. And, as it turned out I wasn’t in hospital all of Christmas Day and we were able to have the boys home together.

“Frankie absolutely loves him.”

Ashleigh and Andrew were left upset earlier this month when health bosses at South Tyneside District Hospital announced they were temporarily suspending the maternity unit due to staffing shortages.

The new mum, said: “The hospital in South Shields is really close to us in an emergency we could be there in a few minutes at the most.

“I was 38 weeks pregnant and had everything in place to go there and when I was told I would have to go a 20-30 minute journey, I was in a panic because we don’t have a car and I was worried about what would happen if I had the baby really quickly.

“But, thankfully everything worked out really well.”

Ashleigh said she could not have been happier with the care she and Isaac received at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

She said: “The experience was brilliant. We had our own room which was lovely and private and the staff there are all absolutely brilliant, especially my midwife, I don’t think I could thank her enough.”

Isaac was one of seven babies born on Christmas Day at Sunderland Royal Hospital and is believed to be the only one from South Tyneside.