The fragility of life was on stark display in this confronting and emotional episode of One Born Every Minute.
The episode opens with Renee and Mark, who planned a dark, quiet and natural birth. Bringing in her own private midwives and essential oils, Renee aims to create a safe and calm zone to deliver their second son.
Husband Mark is happy for the darkness, as it limits what he can see of the birth. Initially Mark’s awkwardness threatens to disrupt Renee’s tranquil birth space, but instead Mark steps up to support and comfort Renee as she stands and delivers 4.3kg Ashton by torchlight.
Xy-Za and Mickey arrive at the birth unit for the delivery of their first baby with no plans but to wing it. Finding the pain overwhelming, Xy-Za opts for an epidural.
The mood of the room lifts as Xy-Za’s boisterous younger sister Joy enters the scene, ready for action, but not ready to see her sister’s nether regions.
Mickey and Xy-Za do not know the sex of their unborn child, but Joy insists it’s a boy. Midwife Emma puts a vote in for a girl, but as her shift is ending soon, she will not be there to deliver the surprise package.
This is all part of the job and for Emma knowing she has helped Xy-Za through her initial anxieties and leaving her with an “I can do this” attitude, is fulfilling in its own right.
With Joy’s enthusiasm and Mickey’s best Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation propelling her forward, Xy-Za gives birth to their beautiful baby girl Aurora.
29-year-old Bianca is only 33 weeks pregnant but has come to the birth unit with husband Daniel, already experiencing uterine tightenings and pain. Midwife Emma takes steps to hopefully prevent Bianca going into early labour.
The down-to-earth couple have had a whirlwind romance. Since Daniel moved from the UK two years ago to be with Bianca and her adorable daughter Mackenzie, their family has blossomed.
Last year they had their first daughter together, Peyton. And now, much to their surprise, they are expecting twins.
Unfortunately, while Bianca is being treated in the birth unit, her daughter Mackenzie is next door in the Children’s Hospital. She is just three years-old and battling leukaemia.
Diagnosed five weeks after the revelation of their twins, Bianca and Daniel have uprooted their lives and moved to a new house to be closer to the hospital for Mackenzie’s treatment. Today it is a routine procedure, but for the first time, Mackenzie will be going under general anaesthetic without her parents by her side.
With no family nearby for support, Daniel waits until Bianca’s symptoms have eased, then rushes home to arrange care for their one-year-old, hoping to be back by the time Mackenzie wakes from her procedure.
But shortly after Daniel’s departure, Bianca receives a heart-wrenching facetime call from Mackenzie. She is distraught having woken without her parents there.
Bianca pleads with midwife Emma for permission to go see Mackenzie. Once the midwives are satisfied Bianca and the twins will be okay, Bianca is out the door. Mackenzie is ecstatic to see her mum, but quite curious about her mum’s hospital gown being very similar to her own.
After a good sleep and 24 hours of monitoring, Bianca is discharged. She leaves hoping she will not return until her twins are full term.
Four weeks later, at 37 weeks pregnant, Bianca and Daniel are back and there is no stopping twin number one, baby girl Brooklyn from making her way into the world.
But twin number two has spun himself into a transverse lie position, meaning he is lying horizontally across Bianca’s abdomen. The doctor calls for an emergency C-section and Bianca is rushed to theatre.
Daniel waits anxiously outside the theatre doors, until he hears his son’s cries and midwife Leisl delivers baby boy Hunter into his arms.
The next morning, Mackenzie comes to meet her baby brother and sister for the first time. It is a beautiful moment for a family going through so much. As Mackenzie holds her little sister in her arms, the joy on her face lights up the room.
Tragically, the episode ends with the heartbreaking news that baby Brooklyn died four weeks later of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
A fundraiser set up to support the family has raised than $100,000 so far.
To support Women’s and Newborn Health at Westmead Hospital contact email@example.com or text BABIES to 0473 000 111.