Whether it’s your partner, mum or even cousins, every woman needs support during labour, as the fifth episode of One Born Every Minute explores.
In this episode, we meet three new families as they embark upon their birth journeys. We explore their unique stories from the family’s perspectives as well as from the perspectives of Di, a senior midwife with thirty years’ experience, and Safa, a junior midwife who has been in the birth unit for one year.
The first family to arrive are Kimberley and Jason, bubbly newlyweds who have done little preparation for their birth – other than to find out that they are expecting a boy.
They ask lots of questions throughout, and Kimberley opts for an epidural because she doesn’t want to feel any pain whatsoever. Unfortunately, while their son Harvey is being born, he inhales some amniotic fluid.
Baby Harvey’s lungs are cleared, and he is taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for additional support before being reunited with his loving parents.
Next is Lavinia, a 19-year-old single mother who has arrived with her mother Michelle and sister Bianca. Lavinia is a fiercely independent young woman, who bravely endures a long labour.
Her son is in an OP (spine to spine) position, which makes the labour extremely painful. Lavinia’s mother is a great source of support, and the love in the room is palpable.
After receiving an epidural to help with pain relief, baby Amaziah is born and placed into his mother’s waiting arms.
Finally, we meet Ella. Ella is from a large Filipino family and has arrived with her sister Daphni and two cousins, Yella and Cyrel.
Ella’s husband Jerico is at his brother’s wedding in the US. He facetimes Ella from the airport as he races to get back in time for the birth of their daughter.
Jerico and Ella already have one son – JJ. During that labour, JJ’s heart rate dropped dramatically. A Cesarean section wasn’t available because his head was already engaged in the birth canal, so JJ’s birth had to be vacuum-assisted. That experience was traumatic for the family, and they are hoping for an improved birthing outcome this time.
Unfortunately, this baby’s heart rate begins dropping during labour as well. A further lactate test indicates that the baby is distressed. Ella is afraid that this will be a similar experience to her first birth.
But this time a Cesarean section can be performed because she isn’t yet fully dilated. Baby Sapphire is delivered in the operating theatre without incident.
The family is reunited as Jerico meets his daughter the following day.
To support Women’s and Newborn Health at Westmead Hospital contact firstname.lastname@example.org or text BABIES to 0473 000 111.