AS children across the country eagerly awaited the arrival of Santa yesterday morning, one family awoke to a special delivery of their own.

Mum Chesca Martin, 26, and dad Darryl Bell, 25, welcomed their second daughter Millie Joyce Bell in the early hours of Christmas morning.

The only newborn to arrive on Christmas Day at Furness General Hospital, young Millie was born at 6.45am.

Mr Bell said: "I'm over the moon and just so ecstatic about it all.

"I can't wait to have all my girls home with me.

"All the staff at the hospital have been absolutely amazing and I really can't thank them enough."

The birth of a sister made it a memorable Christmas for Darryl's first daughter Annalise Bell.

Mr Bell said: "She is trying to stay calm but she's absolutely over the moon about having a sister.

"She's really happy and just can't wait to give her new sister lots of cuddles.

"It's just the best Christmas present ever, for all of us."

Weighing in at 7lb 12oz, Millie was born earlier than expected.

Mr Bell said: "She was actually due on January 27, but because Chesca is diabetic Millie was bigger than they expected.

"They ended up bringing her due date forward to January 8, then 6, and then they had to induce her and get her out.

"They gave Chesca a C-section, but they're both doing well now.

"I was here until 5.30am on Boxing Day morning."

Millie was taken to the Special Care Baby Unit shortly afterwards, where she was put into an incubator to help her breathe.

Mr Bell said: "She is still in the unit but she has really improved overnight. She's definitely a lot better now.

"Her oxygen levels dropped after her first feed so they thought it was best to put her in the unit and in an incubator to give her oxygen.

The fight of the mum and her newborn impressed Mr Bell.

He said: "Millie is doing really, really well, she'll be absolutely fine.

"Mum is doing well too. She has seen Millie a few times so that's making her really happy.

"I think they're both absolutely amazing."

The family, of Devonshire Road, Dalton, are now eager to be reunited at home after their dramatic Christmas Day.

Mr Bell said: "We're taking it on a day-by-day basis at the moment.

"When Millie is doing well on her own then we'll be allowed to bring her home."