TEENAGER Susanna McCarthy was not supposed to spend Christmas morning in labour - but she's glad she did.

The 16-year-old was due to give birth on January 10, but her 9lb baby son decided to put in an appearance more than two weeks early.

Susanna, of Portsmouth, was visiting her grandparents in Elm Tree, Stockton, when her waters broke on Christmas Eve.

She was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, Stockton, where she gave birth to George ten hours later at 9.15am, with boyfriend Stevie McMillan, 15, at her side.

Susanna said she got a huge surprise when she first went into labour. "We weren't expecting him so soon," she said. "At first I was just in shock." She said that, as her family were originally from Teesside, she was pleased George had been born in the North-East.

"Now I'm just happy that it's over and that he's here and he's okay, whatever the date."

Despite his premature arrival, baby George - named after his father's nephew - was doing just fine yesterday, and is expected to leave hospital with mum today.

Dad Stevie, who is still at school, said: "He's okay. It was unexpected but we're pleased he arrived at Christmas. We expected to be back in Portsmouth long before the birth. We're both really excited now he's here."

Festive babies - Page 7