"Our premature princess"

About: Broome Health Campus / Maternity/Midwifery

(as a parent/guardian),

My wife's waters broke early one morning, 5 weeks before her due date. We rang the midwife on call and went on to the hospital. It wasn't her organised midwife but that didn't matter, she was lovely and very reassuring. Before we knew it she was 8cm dilated and too late for an epidural. Her midwife group practice midwife arrived just at the right time, only a few pushes later and our little girl came. It was so good having 2 midwifes present and also a junior doctor who sat in on the birth. She went straight to the paediatricians for a quick examination and was given the all clear. Exhausted mum finally got a cuddle.

A small glitch delivering the placenta saw her in theatre having it removed which was a seemingly smooth exercise for the surgeons on at the time.

That night our little one was sleeping on my wife's chest when my wife looked down and saw our girl turning blue, she screamed out to the nurses - someone help me. They came rushing in and took her straight into the nursery as the nurse yelled - I need resusc. I had just left for dinner when I got a phone call from my hysterical wife saying that she had turned blue and the hospital staff had her. I raced in to see her in the nursery with several staff around her. Her oxygen was quickly restored but still took 6 minutes to breathe on her own. We were quickly reassured she was OK once breathing again.

The paediatricians came straight back in and assessed her. All necessary measures were taken to work out what had caused it. She was placed on heart and oxygen saturation monitors for 48 hours.

This was the most terrifying moment in both our lives. We owe so much to the staff that attended to us here with their quick actions and absolute professionalism, from the midwifes to the doctors, paediatric nurses, paediatricians and everyone else involved.

She is now off all her monitors and doing well.


Response from Maureen Crowther, Patient Opinion Cordinator, Nursing, WA Country Health Service

picture of Maureen Crowther

Hi broomies

Congratulations on the safe and early arrival of your little Princess! What a surprise for you both!

I am very sorry to hear you had a terrifying moment after her birth where she stopped breathing. A very frightening moment and a quick turn around from the joy and wonderment of birth.

I will pass on your feedback to the staff so all are aware of your appreciation in relation to their response in handling a very critical matter. Thank you broomies for sharing your story.

I am pleased to hear your little princess is off all monitors and doing well and I hope your wife is making a speedy recovery.

Kind regards

Maureen Crowther

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Response from David Gaskell, Regional Medical Director, Medical, WA Country Health Service

picture of David Gaskell

Dear broomies

Thank you for sharing your parental story with us. Terrifying indeed to have your child stop breathing whilst sleeping on mum's chest!

Reassuring to know about the speed of response and professionalism of our hospital staff in what must have been a highly charged experience for everyone there.

(If you have or are experiencing unpleasant flashbacks, do talk with those close to you - and our staff or your GP would be willing ears. It is normal to have such intrusive thoughts after an awful event such as this one yet they usually go away simply with caring support and the passage of a few weeks).

Glad to read your daughter is doing well now. In later years, you can tell her how much drama she caused so early in her life!

Best wishes to you all

David Gaskell

Regional Medical Director

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