Parents Jeremy Stewart and Sara Borwick with new twins Arlo and Iylah Stewart and son Ashton Borwick. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Seeing double in lockdown


Arlo and Iylah Stewart may have chosen the worst timing possible to come into the world.

It was day one of the national lockdown when mum Sara Borwick’s water broke.

Due to the restrictions there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding dad Jeremy Stewart’s access to the birthing room.

“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stay, and Sara didn’t want to lose her partner. I know she was very stressed.”

Sara was admitted to Nelson Hospital at 10.30 am and was induced at 1.15pm with the twins born six minutes apart and labour lasting a little over an hour.

Sara suffered epileptic seizures following the birth of her first child Ashton which added to the family’s fears.

Her blood pressure was alarmingly high after the delivery while the glucose levels of the babies was low.

“Iylah did what she was supposed to do but Arlo was finding it hard.”

Arlo was put on a feeding tube which kept the parents hospital-bound for a further week.

Jeremy was eventually granted permission to access the maternity ward but had to abide by strict safety measures.

Finally, on Thursday April 2, they were discharged.

Jeremy says it was an emotional time when they finally stepped outside the hospital doors for the first time as a family.

“That first trip home to see Ashton, the dog and the sun, was a big relief after all that stress.”

However, their worries didn’t end there as they were stepping into more unknowns, thanks to Covid-19.

“Sara was a bit beside herself worrying we weren’t ready, didn’t have enough clothes or where to get nappies. When one of us goes out the other has to stay home, it’s been very challenging.”

The couple was also functioning off about four hours sleep each night.

However, it did not take long for things to settle into routine and for mother and the babies to thrive.

“They are charging back food and have had their immunisations.”

Ashton is also relishing his big brother duties.

“He loves them to bits; he’s been helping out heaps.”

With the exception of Sara’s mum, Alice, who was on babysitting duty for Ashton, the twins have yet to meet their extended family.

Jeremy says now lockdown is lifted, they will look to extend their bubble.

“There are a lot of people that want to meet them but haven’t been able to, which has been hard.”

One silver lining to the lockdown though has been Jeremy’s ability to bond with his babies.

“I have a very good boss who sent me home, told me to sort everything out, and kept me with payments. So it’s awesome to have that solid four weeks of skin to skin contact.”