A mum assumed she'd contracted Covid when she started feeling unwell – but it turns out she was pregnant with "miracle" twins.
Claire Mcwhinnie began feeling unwell in September after coming home from a trip to Dublin.
She felt sick and and thought her symptoms were down to a ‘long hangover’.
Although she thought she had contracted Covid, she took a pregnancy test to put her mind at rest.
The 42-year-old was astonished when it emerged she didn't have the virus, but was expecting a baby.
Claire and her partner Geoff Hennefer, 44, however, were in for an even bigger surprise when they discovered she was pregnant with twins.
Twin babies Louis William Hennefer and Florence Rose Hennefer
Claire Mcwhinnie with the couple's twins after she became pregnant unexpectedly
She told the Manchester Evening News : “I went for a scan and they said there were two heartbeats in there; I was shocked.
"I’ve had three miscarriages and have a really low egg count; I had no clue I was pregnant.
"I went to Dublin with the girls and got back and I didn’t feel great. I thought I had Covid, it was my first holiday away after lockdown.”
Claire did not have a smooth pregnancy and was admitted to Royal Bolton Hospital with a blood pressure condition and a suspicious blood clot before contracting Covid before her due date.
Thankfully Claire and Geoff welcomed the safe arrivals of Louis William Hennefer and Florence Rose Hennefer on May 11, weighing at just over 6lbs each.
Though they have since had many sleepless nights, the couple say they are over the moon.
“Even before the vaccine, my anxiety was through the roof with Covid and I didn’t want to get it while I was pregnant,” Claire continued.
“I went to hospital with a suspected blood clot and I was in and out of hospital with my blood pressure.
Claire thought she had contracted Covid, so her pregnancy was quite unexpected
“The second week, quite close to the birth, they told me I was positive for Covid.
"I had to move to a side room and isolate. I was too poorly to go home so they said I may as well stay in so they could keep a close eye on me.
“I had a C-section birth, it was touch and go whether they were going to do it because of the Covid but they were absolutely fine."
The new mum has praised hospital staff who she said she owed everything to after her brush with the virus.
It meant she was kept in hospital longer and had to isolate from her new arrivals.
She said: "Life is very overwhelming; it's like all my Christmases have come together at once – I don't know what boredom is like anymore!
“I can’t thank the hospital staff enough, without them they would be here. I owe them everything and more.”