Nappy Mother's Day: Mum's the word for these three brand new bundles of joy
Published 11/03/2013 | 04:20
It was Mother's Day, the most chocolate-laden, joyous day of the year, and mothers across Northern Ireland were receiving presents and getting treated.
And some received the greatest gift of all – a baby.
At the Ulster Hospital maternity ward, mothers of three newborns were celebrating their special Mother's Day arrivals, in each case a second baby.
As she cradled 10-hour-old Bella, Ashlyn McCormack (21) said she knew she was having a girl before the birth.
She'd chosen the name, packed the pretty little outfits, but her daughter's arrival was unexpectedly dramatic.
Ashlyn, a hairdresser who comes from Lisburn, said: "My pains started at 3am and I went to Lagan Valley Hospital, but my blood pressure was so high they brought me here to the Ulster. She arrived at four. My mum, Angela, stayed with me throughout and was great."
Ashlyn added that meeting her daughter was emotional.
"I couldn't believe it and started crying."
Mother and daughter, who weighed 7lb 13oz, were awaiting the visit of Bella's big brother, Koen (2). Ashlyn said: "He's very excited. The funny thing is I gave my mum her Mother's Day present last night, in case I went into labour this morning." And now granny McCormack has another gift.
Niamh Matthews (30), from Co Down, was cuddling her small daughter Sophia and smiling as she recalled her arrival at a whisker before 8am.
"It was very quick and I phoned the hospital to come in at a quarter to five.
Sophia arrived at a quarter to six, weighing 7lb 14oz.
"Now I'm waiting for my two-year-old daughter Eva to meet her as I don't want her to feel left out." She said her husband Keith had been with her and added that motherhood "puts everything else in second place".
Niamh works full-time in health and safety, something she says she couldn't do without family support.
She added: "It's been pretty special giving birth on Mother's Day. I don't think any presents are going to top this one."
Judith Sherlock (31) was allowing husband Chris and sister-in-law Roberta to change her baby son, Jack.
He was pretty vocal for somebody who'd arrived in the world four hours earlier at 10.48am.
"It was very quick. I started contractions at six and they were variable," said Judith.
"When I arrived at the hospital at 10am, I went straight to the delivery room."
Looking happy, Judith, who has a 16-month-old daughter Maya and works at the Little Gems private day nursery, said motherhood was "so nice, just having a wee baby relying on you and looking after them".
Chris, Judith's husband, was at the birth – "I wouldn't have missed it," he said – and everyone agreed that baby Jack was just perfect.
When Judith's mum, Joan Jenkinson, arrived, she looked thrilled, introduced herself to little Jack as Nana, and so began a beautiful relationship.