Baby Eleanor from Mattishall crowned bonniest baby in Norfolk

After suffering from health problems for two years, Michelle Goulding did not think she and her husband Steve would be able to have children.

But today they are celebrating their 14-week old daughter Eleanor scooping the bonniest baby in Norfolk title.

Nearly 500 mums and dads entered their little ones into the 2011 Evening News Bonny Babies Competition.

Mrs Goulding, 37, who is currently on maternity leave from her job as a finance assistant, said: 'I can't believe it. I'm surprised, we are over the moon. We dote on her, she is my angel.

'I didn't know we had won until my mother-in-law told me.

'I have had so much misfortune with my health. I found out I was expecting at three and a half weeks. From five weeks to 39 weeks I spent more time in hospital. Everyone on the Cley Ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) were fantastic.

'Ellie is a blessing, she is our world.'

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The couple, who live in Welgate Close, Mattishall with their chocolate labrador Benji, entered Eleanor into the Evening News competition while out shopping in Norwich one Saturday afternoon.

Mrs Goulding said: 'We just popped into the Castle Mall and saw the free prize draw.

'She was only 11 weeks old when the photo was taken. We had to wake her up for the photo so she was half asleep when it was taken.

'Benji is really good with her. Whoever is holding Ellie, Benji will sit with them. He is so well behaved. When you go through to her in the morning she looks up and you and is all smiles.

'Steve is besotted with her. Ellie likes to play with the musical keyboard we bought her.

'We are trying to develop her senses. She used to love her baths but now she screams.'

Eleanor, who is now 14 weeks old, has won her family �1,000 worth of vouchers to spend on portrait products with Venture Photography.

Mrs Goulding said they planned to arrange Eleanor's photoshoot for next February.

She said: 'Ellie will be close to six months old and will be a little more aware of what's going on and hopefully she will be able to sit up as well.

'We will give the photos to my cousin in America, who is also called Eleanor, her godmothers and godfather, my mother-in-law and close friends and family. We have already had a few requests for photos.

'We were thinking about having professional photos taken when my friend had some of her baby and they looked terrific.

'We thought it would be nice to get some pictures of Ellie and some family photos.'

Mrs Goulding said she was overwhelmed by the number of people who had voted for her baby.

'We keep calling her our bonny baby. There were so many gorgeous children in the competition who were all smiling and looking so adorable. The fact that Ellie has won just makes us feel over the moon – she is gorgeous.'

The couple who got married last year said the arrival of Eleanor, who was named after her grandmother, made their family feel complete. Mrs Goulding added: 'Just writing in Christmas cards and saying from Steve, Michelle and baby Eleanor feels so right.'

Runners-up were Chanel Pye (girls under 18 months); Jensen Reef Jakob (boys under 18 months); Keeley Bussey (girls 18 months to five years); Igor Adam Czajkowska (boys 18 months to five years).

Jensen, Keeley and Igor have all won a Venture Photography family experience worth �145.