TUM-TIED: bellies in battle to become first mum
GIVING a new meaning to the term "crowning" these three young mothers-to-be are in the running to become Warwick's first mother of the year.
Yasmin McWhinney, Kelly Atkinson and Katelyn Byrne are all due to give birth within a couple of days of each other, so it's certainly going to be a close race.
First-time mother Ms Byrne is 39 weeks pregnant and itching to take out the title - even if just for the comfort of being able to finally touch her toes again.
"It's so exciting and I just want to meet the baby," Ms Byrne said.
Ms Atkinson agreed and said being able to roll over in bed was a luxury she had almost forgotten about.
"Nine months feels like it's been such a long time and every day I ask my baby 'are you here yet'?"
But things have been a bit different for Ms McWhinney, who is expecting to give birth to her second little boy in the middle of next week.
"You can't rest as much when it's your second one," she said.
Already one week in to 2018, the Hanlon maternity ward at Warwick hospital has been unusually quiet, according to senior midwife Ross Newton.
Mr Newton said staff on the ward had been eagerly anticipating the first birth of the year, and were excited to see who it would be.
"It's been a long wait... we're already a week into the year and we still haven't had any babies," Mr Newton said.
"Hopefully one of these lucky ladies will be the first."
Mr Newton said there was a caesarean birth booked in for Wednesday, so the women would have to get in before then if they want to claim the title of first mum. There were 154 births in the Warwick hospital in 2017, a figure that was slightly below previous years.
"So we're hoping for a busier year this year," Mr Newton said.
It may be off to a slow start but Mr Newton said the women had to at least hold off until Monday, when he would be back at work to offer support.
"The staff have been so helpful," Ms Byrne said.
"We're in safe hands."