A couple had the “perfect” start to 2013 as they celebrated the arrival of their first child.

Christina Straccia, 28, and Tommaso Venegani, 31, of Forres Gardens, Golders Green, welcomed Amy into the world at 6.48am on New Year's Day.

Amy was born three days prematurely at Royal Free Hospital, weighing a healthy 7.7 pounds.

Christina, who works in Prêt à Manger, said: “We weren’t really prepared because we expected her to be born on January 4.

“It was really emotional but despite all the pain you go through, it’s a unique and special experience.”

Christina went into labour at 9pm on Monday, December 31 before giving birth to Amy nearly ten hours later.

“It’s strange to be holding her now, but it’s so nice. We’ve had a lot of phone calls and texts from friends and family wishing us well.”

Tommaso, who is store manager at Caffè Nero in Golders Green, said: “I couldn’t have wished for anything better in 2013. It’s perfect.

“I normally find the end of the year very boring and I don’t like celebrating New Year – it’s just about having booze and I don’t really enjoy it. But now we have something special to celebrate.

“I hope Amy will grow up to be just like her mother – Christina is great, just wonderful.”

Tommaso and Christina are looking forward to introducing Amy to their friends and family once they leave the hospital later this week.