A woman has given birth twice in just eight months, meaning both her children will be in the same year when they start school. Claire Ormrod's two babies, Alice and Gareth, will be in the same class when they start at primary school in Rhyl, north Wales.
Miss Ormrod, 26, had Alice on 6 December 2011, at 25 weeks, by emergency Caesarean. She weighed just 1lb 3oz - the smallest baby born in Wales. She defied doctors, who were convinced she wouldn't survive. The child was so ill that the family had started arranging her funeral, gave her a rush baptism and were 90 minutes from switching off her life support machine when she showed her first signs of life. Seven weeks later Claire fell pregnant again, despite being on the pill, and had healthy baby Gareth, weighing exactly 2lbs, at 29 weeks, also by emergency Caesarean, on 7 September 2012.
"I was absolutely petrified when I found out I was pregnant again," said Claire. "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." Gareth was born on the cut-off day for their local Catholic school, Ysgol Mair, in Rhyl. A day later and he would have been in the next year, but the school divides classes by the first day of term rather than the usual 1st September. Miss Ormrod, who jointly runs North West Martial Arts with partner Gareth Gee, 36, has three older children; Molly, aged seven; Jack, aged five and Charlie, aged two. All five were conceived in spite of precautions. "No one could believe it when we told them I was pregnant again," said Claire. "They just couldn't get their heads round the fact that the two babies would be so close together. "With every one of my children I was on the pill or the coil," said Claire.
Alice, now 13 months old, weighs 12lbs 14oz. Doctors can't yet determine what degree of brain damage she suffered. Her little brother Gareth, just over four months old, is 7lbs 14oz, about the weight he would have been at full-term birth. Miss Ormrod criticised plans by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board decided to axe longer term intensive care at the hospital that saved Alice. She said: "Glan Clwyd have saved her life six times, she has had that many illnesses. "Without the level of care at the hospital, she would have died. They picked up on her rare condition after just 10 days."