It has been a Christmas Day to remember for new parents in Norfolk who have received the greatest gift of all today.

Six happy and healthy babies have been born at the county’s hospitals so far this Christmas Day.

At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital the first arrival – a baby girl – came at 12.09am.

New mum, Stephanie McAuliffe said she is feeling very happy despite her partner and dad, Dexter Smith, not being able to be by her side due to him testing positive for Covid-19.

“It’s surreal that she is here," said the 27-year-old from Norwich.

“It’s a bit sad that Dexter missed the birth, but it’s just one of those things. But even with him not here, the staff and nurses completely put me at ease. They are all so lovely.”

This was followed by another boy, named Louis, at 1.47am and a third baby boy, named Hugo, at 5.01am.

Louis’ mum, Nicola Brighton, from Costessey, went through 12-hours of labour before having a caesarean section. She said it was a “Christmas Day miracle”.

“We are absolutely amazed and just so happy to have him here for Christmas day it has been a long time coming,” said the 32-year-old.

Kat Greaves is the manager on call at the hospital’s maternity ward. She added: “Everyone is in good spirits. We are having a nice shift but it is looking like it might be busy getting into the afternoon.

“Covid has affected us slightly. We have a few staff off isolating.

“But we have other staff who are picking up extra shifts, so we are surviving on good will."

At the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston midwives have also seen the arrival of three new babies.

The first was a baby boy, named Teddy-George, who was born at 2.31am, followed by another boy at 3.11am and the third at 2.30pm.

Parents of Teddy-George, Jane Poskitt and Jordon Templeton, from Caister, are already at home celebrating with their family.

The 31-year-old, who is now a mother-of-three, said: “I’m a little bit tired and achy but happy that he is here.

“The midwives were lovely. They made sure I was alright and I had everything I needed. There was always someone there with me throughout it all.”

Midwives on the ward are also expecting a fourth baby to arrive later this afternoon.

Angela Oram, senior midwife coordinator at the hospital said: “It has been quite a busy day for us with four babies on Christmas day.

“There has been a good team spirit and everyone is happy.”

New dad, Hayden Webber-Kane said it "feels like an absolutely magical Christmas" after he and mum Emily welcomed their son, Henry Webber-Kane into the world at James Paget University Hospital.

Mr Webber-Kane said: "It's a lovely gift for our family and especially for our daughter Lottie (six). The experience was amazing and the JPUH staff couldn't do more for us. They were absolutely great and deserve a lot more recognition for their hard work."