Cuddles for newborn Ralphie Ellis Gay from brother Henry and left, dozing at home. Pictures: Tony Jones

It was the perfect start to the New Year for Terrington St John couple Gemma and Danny Gay.

Mrs Gay, 39, gave birth at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn to Ralphie Ellis Gay at 1.11am on New Year’s Day – making him the first baby born in Norfolk this year.

Mr Gay, 35, added: “I think my wife sums it up well when she says it was completely surreal hearing fireworks going off while she was well into labour.

“He was due on the 31st so we knew it was in the mix.

“The midwives were placing bets on if it would be New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.”

Mr Gay, a teacher at Lynn’s King Edward VII Academy, said they were the only couple on the labour ward.

“Our midwife Lisa Barham was fantastic, all the staff were fantastic. They all wanted the first baby of the year so they were drawing straws,” said Mr Gay.

The baby was named in memory of Mr Gay’s late father, Ellis, who died last year of motor neurone disease.

Ralphie Ellis is the couple’s second son and a brother for three-year-old Henry.

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