Two mothers spending weeks at Westmead Hospital due to a rare pregnancy complication have become lifelong friends.
The pair first connected through an online support group before realising that they were only doors apart at Westmead.
Brianna Mitchell and Kristy Fleming both experienced preterm premature rupture of membranes, essentially meaning their waters broke before the baby had reached full term – a potentially dangerous complication that occurs in about 3% of pregnancies.
For both mums that meant weeks staying in the Women’s Health Ward with daily monitoring to ensure their unborn babies stayed healthy and well.
“It’s really nice to go with this with somebody else who understands,” Brianna said.
“I just found it amazing that we were able to meet. It’s been so wonderful being able to support each other and encourage each other, because there’s a lot of hard days in the hospital.
“It makes it a lot easier when there’s someone else going through it with you.”
Brianna gave birth to her son Jamison via emergency caesarean section last week at 33 weeks gestation, after a nurse picked up that he was in distress during a routine scan.
Brianna has now been allowed to return home while Jamison grows stronger each day in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
The safe and healthy delivery was a joy for Brianna and her husband Ian, but also for Kristy.
“It’s reassuring because I’m probably going to be in the same boat, I will probably go early,” Kristy said.
“It’s just good to hear a successful story with a happy ending, it makes it all worth it. Because it is hard going through this and you have your doubts. At times I’ve wondered if my baby is going to survive, especially when I first came in.”
Reflecting on International Day of the Midwife, 5 May, the friends agreed their care at Westmead Hospital was second to none.
“From the get-go they were really reassuring and gave me useful information. I was contacted by the NICU team straight away to give me an idea of what to expect if my baby did come early,” Brianna said.
“They’ve been so supportive. There’s a friendly face every day, which is really nice when you’re in here for so long – to feel like you can chat to the midwives and nurses and have a bit of a laugh, and also know that they’re qualified and they’re providing you with the best care.
“Any concerns that I had along the way, they always had the answers, which I found really reassuring.”
Kristy added: “The midwives, the nurses and the doctors all have been amazing. Being my first pregnancy I was so uneducated, and they didn’t fill me in with too much information at the start. It’s a learning process.
“Then you start to build friendships with them as well. It’s more than them just being a normal midwife or a doctor, you get to know them. So now I’m friends with a lot of the midwives, which is good.”
<embed International Day of the Midwife video>
With over 10,000 births across western Sydney in the past year, we wanted to say thank you to every one of our midwives. Happy International Day of the Midwife for 2021!