A woman has defied medical odds to give birth to two children in nine months - even though she was using contraception both times she became pregnant.
Claire Ormrod (26) had her daughter Alice on December 6, 2011, at 25 weeks, by emergency Caesarean. When she was born, weighing just 1lb 3oz (500g), Alice was the smallest baby ever born in Wales. Seven weeks later Ms Ormrod then became pregnant again, despite being on the pill, and had healthy baby Gareth, weighing exactly 2lbs (900g), at 29 weeks, also by emergency Caesarean, on September 7, 2012.
Doctors have been stunned at the "medical impossibility" of the two babies being born so close together. Alice and Gareth will be in the same class when they start at a primary school in Rhyl, north Wales.
Ms Ormrod, who jointly runs a martial arts company with her partner Gareth Gee (36), has three older children - Molly (7), Jack (5) and Charlie (2). All five were conceived in spite of precautions.
She said: "With every one of my children I was on the pill or the coil," she explained.
"I was on the waiting list to be sterilised when I fell pregnant with Gareth. The coil is supposed to be 99,99 percent effective and I was on it when I had three of my children." She was in fact on a waiting list to be sterilised when she discovered she was expecting for the fifth time.
Given the ordeal she had so recently been through with Alicebeing born so prematurely, Ms Ormrod said she was "absolutely petrified" when she discovered she was pregnant again.
"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. No one could believe it when we told them I was pregnant again. They just couldn't get their heads round the fact that the two babies would be so close together," said Ms Ormrod.
Had Alice been born a week earlier, at the 24 weeks, she says doctors wouldn't have tried to save her. Medical experts believe that babies bornat this stage only have a tiny chance of survival. Ifthey do pull through, they are more likely to have long-term health problems such as lung conditions,learning difficulties and cerebral palsy.
Ms Ormrod said: "She would have been a 24-week baby and they wouldn't have thought she had a chance," she said. Alice was so ill that her family had started arranging her funeral and gave her a hasty baptism. Crucially, they were 90 minutes from switching off her life support machine when she showed her first signs of life.
Ms Ormrod said:"We were told she was so ill, they would have turn off her life support machine, because she couldn't survive.
"One hour before they were about to turn it off, she woke up, then she started breathing on her own. She is a miracle baby, she is a fighter. They told us there was no brain activity and then she woke up.