JOY and cheer was brought to families across Oxfordshire as babies were born on Christmas Day.

John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford helped deliver nine babies, while two were born at Banbury’s Horton General Hospital.

Finley was the first born at the JR – at 1.43am and weighing 7lb 1oz – to Hailey residents Mandy Haynes, 30, and Neil Rowicki, 30.

Mrs Haynes said: “It is the best Christmas present you can get.”

Finley was due on New Year’s Day, but Mrs Haynes went into labour at 9.15pm on Christmas Eve after a routine examination at the JR.

She added: “We were just coming in for a check-up.

“Our parents were meeting for the first time that night and we had to leave them to it, but they seemed to like each other.

“The midwife said I would be going home for Christmas but then I sat up and my waters broke and she said, ‘Actually, no you won’t be’.”

Mrs Haynes, who works in sales, hopes Finley will become a dancer but her husband, a warehouse worker, said he would like to see his son playing football for Coventry City one day.

Mrs Haynes has a son, Joshua, six, and Mr Rowicki has a daughter, Ella, five.

Sophie and Carmine Ruggiero’s son, who has not yet been named, was born at the JR at 6.39am, weighing 9lbs and 2ozs. He was due on December 19.

Mrs Ruggiero, from Botley Road, Oxford, said: “We have two daughters and they were both born two weeks late, so we were expecting that again.

“I certainly was not expecting Christmas Day, and I haven’t got my head around that. It was a bit of a surprise.”

“But our home was put on flood warning, so the waters would have broken today one way or another.

“Let’s hope it is just the baby ones.”

Mr Ruggiero, 41, a nursing student, said he planned to teach his son football, but Mrs Ruggiero, 42 a music teacher, said she wanted him to join the Oxford Operatic Society.

But she added: “I just want him to have a happy home life.”

Abingdon residents Agnie-szka and Adrian Warzecha, 36 and 31 respectively, were still waiting to cuddle their daughter, Emilia, for the first time on Christmas Day.

Emilia was born at 4.33am, weighing 8lbs and 6ozs, but was two weeks overdue and was taken into intensive care to receive oxygen.

Mrs Warzecha said: “At the moment she is okay, but it is very difficult. I am waiting and waiting to see her.

“It is an amazing Christmas present, but when I have her with me it will be brilliant.

“That will be 100 per cent happiness.”