SOUTHAMPTON mum Gemma Doling-Lavars has more than one reason to be pleased with herself.

Not only has she given birth to her beautiful daughter Isabella, she also cleaned up in a family sweepstake after rightly predicting she would deliver on New Year’s Day.

Although she was due two days earlier, Isabella kept her family waiting and in the end had to be delivered by Caesarean section after a 26-hour labour.

But it made Isabella the first baby to arrive on New Year’s Day at Southampton’s Princess Anne unit as she made her entrance just after 1.30am.

Gemma, 31, who works in recruitment, and already has a son Samuel with husband Simon, said: “I am pretty exhausted, not having much sleep but it has been a memorable start to the year.

Isabella, who weighed in at 7lbs 4oz, was one of six babies who were born at the hospital during yesterday’s overnight shift, making it one of the busiest for staff.

She will share her birthday with Gracie Abi Newman who came along just after 4am, to the delight of Southampton parents Kelly Masters, 28, and Dan Newman who already have a six-year-old son.

Beata and Gary Bell had no time to waste when their second son decided he was on the way.

Just three hours after feeling her labour was under way, Beata, 35, was holding her little boy in her arms.

At the Royal Hampshire County Hospital little Lexi came into the world at 12.30am. Parents Tanya, 22, and Daniel Patterson-Williams, 23, from Chilbolton, were delighted by her arrival at six pounds and 14 ounces and two weeks early. Tanya, 22, a Tesco worker, said: “We just weren’t expecting her so soon, so it’s a nice surprise. Everything was fine.”