Ridley’s arrival is best present ever for Beccles couple

Steve Martin and Emma Batchelor with their baby son Ridley who was born on Christmas Day at the Jame

Steve Martin and Emma Batchelor with their baby son Ridley who was born on Christmas Day at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston.December 2014.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A Beccles couple received an extra special present on Christmas Day as they welcomed their first child into the world.

Steve Martin and Emma Batchelor with their baby son Ridley who was born on Christmas Day at the Jame

Steve Martin and Emma Batchelor with their baby son Ridley who was born on Christmas Day at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston.December 2014.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Ridley Jack Martin was due to be born on December 17, but made parents Emma Batchelor, 24, and Steve Martin, 31, wait until lunchtime on Christmas Day for his arrival.

The couple, who had joked about the possibility of their son arriving at Christmas, said he was the best present they could have wished for.

Mr Martin, who works as a bricklayer, said: “I had a sweepstake with the boys at work about when he was going to arrive and they were all joking that we were going to miss our Christmas dinner.

“He was definitely an extra special present and it’s nice because the date is just so different.”


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Miss Batchelor’s waters broke after attending a midwife appointment on Christmas Eve and she started having contractions later that night in hospital. The nurses had to use forceps to turn Ridley around, which caused a small cut to his face, but he arrived healthy and well.

He was finally born at 12.28pm on Christmas Day at The James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, eight days after he was due.

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He weighed eight pounds 12 ounces.

Mr Martin said: “Words just can’t explain the feeling when they put him in my arms for the first time. He was just so perfect.”

The couple had already picked out a choice of names for their son, but waited to see his face until they made their final decision.

Ridley was given a Christmas hat to wear knitted by one of the midwife’s grandmas, and was showered with gifts by the rest of the staff - one of which stayed on later after her shift just to see him.

Mr Martin said: “It was overwhelming how lovely all the staff were. They let me stay later and they really looked after us.

“It felt strange because the hospital was so quiet but the Christmas spirit was brilliant.”

Despite missing their turkey dinner, the couple were visited by their parents at the hospital on Christmas Day and returned home the next evening.

They then spent Saturday celebrating Christmas as a family and finally got to open their presents.

Mr Martin said: “People said he would be the best Christmas present we could ever have and he really is.

“We are so tired at the moment and we are trying to take it in turns but he is lovely. We couldn’t ask for anything more special.”

Ridley is settling into his new Winnie the Poo themed bedroom, painted by his dad, but seems to prefer to sleep during the day instead of at night.

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