Early arrival starts new year

NEW Year's Eve celebrations turned sobering for Emma and Simon Shuker on Tuesday night, when their son decided to make an early appearance.

Jasper Shuker, due on January 17, was born at 9.22am yesterday, after causing a mad rush from Launceston to Beaconsfield and back.

Mrs Shuker said she and her husband were in town to watch the fireworks and ring in the new year with friends when she started feeling some aches and pains.

She said she dismissed them as Braxton Hicks contractions, and it wasn't until she was driving home to Beaconsfield that she realised she was in labour.

"We got home and rang mum because I didn't think I'd be able to drive back ... and Simon was a bit tipsy," she said.

"It was a bit of a surprise, especially because it was a day after my birthday, and we thought there was no chance of it - no one in my family's come early."

Mr Shuker said he "sobered up very quickly".

"It was just the usual panic for me," he said.

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