Big surprise ... Claire Ormrod with her partner Gareth and youngest children, Alice and Gareth Jr
A Welsh woman has given birth twice in just nine months – meaning the children could be in the same year at school.
Claire Ormrod, of Rhyl, Wales, was pregnant when she suffered from placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta comes away from the wall of the womb. She gave birth to daughter Alice on December 6, when her baby was only 25 weeks and weighed barely 500g.
Claire was told her daughter wouldn’t survive. After Alice suffered a brain bleed and severe health issues, the family was about an hour away from turning off her life support machine. They had started arranging her funeral and had rushed a baptism.
But then the tiny baby showed signs of life.
“She is a miracle baby, she is a fighter,” Claire told The Telegraph. “They told us there was no brain activity and then she woke up.
“Within 24 hours she was off the life support, out of intensive care and breathing on her own. The doctors couldn’t explain it.”
Alice was the smallest baby to be born – and then survive – in Wales.
Alice spent her first year of life in hospital – and while she was growing stronger, life continued for 26-year-old Claire, her partner Gareth, and their older children, Molly, 7, Jack, 5, and Charlie, 2.
It was during that time that Claire fell pregnant again, when Alice was just seven weeks old.
“I was absolutely petrified when I found out I was pregnant again,” Claire said. “My GP said I should have a termination, he said it would end up killing me and the baby, and that it wouldn’t be fair to put me through it.
“But I said no, straight out.”
Claire said no one could believe she was pregnant again – least of all her. She says she was on the waiting list for a hysterectomy when she fell pregnant with her youngest baby.
“With every one of my children I was on the pill or [an IUD]. The coil is supposed to be 99.9 per cent effective and I was on it when I had three of my children.”
Baby Gareth Jr arrived on September 7, at 29 weeks, after Claire suffered from placental abruption once again. Her son weighed 0.9kg.
Alice and her little brother will be due to be in the same year at school, as Gareth was born on the cut-off date.
Now 13 months, Alice weighs 5.5kg; her little brother, at just over four months, weighs 3.6kg. Their health continues to improve.
"The doctors don’t know how much damage Alice has suffered. She is still fed through a tube in her stomach, she can’t swallow or sit up, she is like a newborn. Gareth appears to be fine, he is just a bit small," Claire said.
"I’m just so grateful they are both still with us."