The first Christmas day baby born at Altnagelvin this year was Cillian O’Kane from Claudy. An extra special present for his parents Aidan and Allison.
But incredibly, they had been gifted with another Christmas day baby four years earlier when his sister Catherine arrived on the same date.
Dad Aidan told the Journal: “Catherine was due on the 21st December so she kept us waiting and we couldn’t believe it when she was born on Christmas day. Cillian wasn’t due until the 30th - and we really hoped he wouldn’t arrive on Christmas day as well.
“But on Christmas Eve Allison was having a few contractions so we went up to the hospital where they assured us it was a false alarm. However, later that evening it became clear the baby was on its way so my parents were called to look after our other three children and I rushed Allison up to Altnagelvin.
“We arrived at 1.45am and Cillian arrived just an hour later at 2.44am!”
Aidan continued: “We just couldn’t believe it. Another Christmas Day baby!”
Of course Santa had also delivered his presents while baby Cillian was being born so Aidan travelled back home in time to see Anna, Catherine and Cormac’s delighted smiles when they saw their presents.
When they asked for their mummy Aidan told them she had gone to get their new baby brother. He said they were all really excited but Catherine soon realised she would now have to share her birthday with someone else.
He said: “We think we’ll set aside two separate days for Catherine and Cillian in future years so they get to celebrate their own birthdays - without Santa coming at the same time!”
Aidan and Allison also had thanks for the midwives Judith and Margaret. “They were fantastic and did a brilliant job. They had never heard of two siblings both being born on Christmas day so they were just as excited as us.”
And the staff at Altnagelvin made sure that Allison was well looked after, giving her Christmas dinner in the maternity ward before discharging her in time for Christmas dinner at home with her family that very same day.