Christmas came late for an Arrowtown family who welcomed twins into the world on Boxing Day morning.
Chevy-Violet and Shelby-Rogue Welland were born just half an hour after mum Clare, dad Matt and older sister Savannah-Rose arrived at Frankton’s Lakes District Hospital.
They were due on New Year’s Eve and Clare expected to birth them in Invercargill, where surgical options and more painkilling options are available.
Twin deliveries are often difficult, so are few and far between in Queenstown. The Wellands are possibly the first, according to maternity unit staff.
Clare says: “They had the helicopter on standby at the hospital. They were going to take me to Invercargill because Shelby was transverse, she was sideways, her head towards my hip and legs towards my belly button.
“But they examined me and said there wasn’t time.”
The Wellands had called ahead and obstetrician Polly Weston and midwife Jan Scherp made it in time.
“They were absolutely phenomenal. The team there is fantastic. They are angels. They made this birthing experience the most supportive, comfortable, relaxed as can be, and one of the happiest moments in our lives.”
Chevy-Violet was born at 7.08am, weighing 2.47kg, with Shelby-Rogue close behind at 7.14am, weighing 2.52kg.
“I said to Matt in the car on the way ‘I feel I need to push already’. He started panicking and begging me not to push, I said ‘I’m trying not to’.
“They wheeled me in, got me in the bed, and that was it.”
The babies were then helicoptered down to Southland Hospital for monitoring, while mum, dad and a delighted Savannah-Rose drove down.
“She’s over the moon.
“When we sat down and told her I was going to have a baby, she said ‘but mummy, there’s two babies’. I thought it was her little imagination going mad but she was adamant, and said it was two girls.
“I went for the scan at Pacific Radiology in Frankton and the woman said ‘congratulations, you have twins’.
“I didn’t believe it. I thought the scan must have been the previous patient’s.
“I said to Savannah close to the time, ‘but what if mummy has two boys?’ She said, ‘no mummy, you just put them back’.”
Having twins, or another baby at all, wasn’t planned.
The family lost baby boy Xzavier three days after he was born in December 2016.
He was born with Patau Syndrome (cells contain extra genetic material from chromosome 13).
“They told us he shouldn’t have gone past three months, I should have miscarried him, but he decided to go all the way.
“We decided we couldn’t take the chance to have more children, even though it was 1 in 80,000. It put the fear in us and we said ‘no more children’, because losing a child is so wrong.
“So the twins weren’t planned – but obviously we’re all absolutely delighted they’re here and want to say a huge thank you to the midwives and team at the hospital.”