From the moment she first set eyes on her gorgeous baby girl, Travel Guides’ lovable, laugh-a-minute, sweary country cowgirl star, Mel Wilburn, knew her life would never be the same again.
Gazing down at her chubby-cheeked, button-nosed beauty, the 32-year-old self-confessed chatterbox who – along with her twin sister Stacey, aka Stack, has won the hearts of viewers with their round-the-world TV adventures – is quite simply lost for words.
“I can’t get over how tiny she is. She’s so delicate and beautiful, perfect actually,” the proud mum tells Woman’s Day exclusively.
Mel and her Victorian farmer and stock agent partner Tim Donald, 32, are thrilled to be parents to Savannah Lynne Donald, born on February 24.
“It’s crazy, I’d never even held a newborn in my life and now here I am holding me own,” says the musterer by trade. “I look at her and still can’t believe we made her!”
While she’s glowing now, Mel says her labour didn’t exactly go according to plan…
“Stack was visiting at the time,” she tells.
“She was amazing, racing round at midnight when my waters broke getting my bag together before Tim took me to Wangaratta hospital. She couldn’t come as she had to get home for her son Wyatt’s birthday the next day.”
With limited phone reception, Stack made the 12-hour drive back home to Upper Horton, NSW, not knowing how her twin was doing.
Complications arose when Savannah’s heart rate dropped, and she had to be delivered by emergency C-section.
“After 18 hours of contractions I was whisked into theatre, then after all that it only took 15 minutes for them to chop me up and get her out!” remembers Mel.
It comes as no surprise that Mel and Tim – who knew the sex of the baby before birth but decided to keep it a secret – shed tears of joy on hearing Savannah’s baby bird-like cheeps for the first time.
“She was all gunky when they put her on my chest for some skin-on-skin time,” Mel says of her 3.5kg bundle of joy.
“Suddenly, there I was with my little girl and Tim by my side – just the three of us. It was the most unbelievable experience.”
Now back at home, the couple are settling into the rhythms of life with their five-week-old new addition.
“Tim’s been bloody awesome,” says Mel.
“He loves his little girl so much! Everyone does – even our six dogs can’t get enough of her and protectively watch over her as she sleeps in her bassinet.”
However, there’s one very important person the pint-sized cowgirl is yet to meet – her aunty.
“Stack’s so happy for us but she’s not had a chance to meet her yet,” says Mel.
For Stack, her niece’s arrival brings much happiness after heartbreak when a devastating fire raged through her home in January, leaving Stack, her partner and her two sons, Royce, 12, and Wyatt, eight, with nothing left but the clothes on their backs.
“I feel so bad for Stack because she’s been proper kicked in the guts but she’s so excited to become an aunty,” says Mel.
Until that happy meet, Mel’s getting into the groove of “winging it” at motherhood.
“I don’t have a routine. If she needs a feed and we’re down the paddock with the horses, I’ll feed her. If she’s strapped to me while I’m driving the quad bike running the dogs and needs a nappy change, I’ll change her,” says the happy-go-lucky lass.
“She’s a pretty cruisy baby – a good sleeper, she feeds well and rarely cries, only when she’s cold! She hates the cold like me!”
It seems the apple’s not fallen far from the cart as Mel admits her daughter is also a good bottom-burper! “I can’t believe how loud her farts are! She gets that from me but how can noises like that come out of something so little?” Mel laughs.
It begs the question if Savannah will grow up to be even more like her mum, to which Mel simply lets out that all-too familiar lovable cowgirl cackle and replies, “You mean rough as guts?!”
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