Ward sister gives birth while on shift

25 Sep 2019 10:04
Published by: Scott Callan

NURSES are used to dealing with the unexpected, but staff were given a shock when a ward sister got down and gave birth while on shift.

Becky Neill unexpectedly went into labour a month early when carrying out her duties as normal at Fairfield General Hospital.

At first the 28-year-old dismissed the irregular stomach pain as Braxten Hicks and carried on helping out with a charity bake sale.

Becky, from Whitefield, rang the triage nurse at North Manchester General, where she planned to give birth, to check nothing was untoward.

She was advised to head to the maternity unit as a precaution, and called her mum to pick her up from work.

But before she had chance to leave, Becky's contractions started to rapidly speed up and she couldn't move from the chair in the ward office.

Her colleagues called an ambulance but it soon became clear her baby was not going to wait.

Babies haven't been born at Fairfield since the maternity unit closed in 2012, leaving nurses with no choice but to deliver Becky's baby on Ward 9, a ward usually for orthopaedic day patients.

"It was like a scene from Carry On Nursing," recalls Becky.

"I just felt like I couldn't move from the chair.

"It's all a bit of a blur but I remember someone saying 'this baby is coming now'.

"I got down on all fours and they could see the baby's head, he was crowning.

"There was a doctor going 'we need gas and air!'. I can laugh now but at the time it was worrying because I was a month early."

Sister Lynne Grundy stepped up as a makeshift midwife in Becky's hour of need, whose years of nursing experience and previous army training proved vital in keeping everyone calm.

Not only did Lynne safely deliver Becky's baby boy, she also made sure Becky had as much privacy and dignity as possible in the ward office.

Baby Oliver was born, weighing 3lbs8oz - just 31 minutes after Becky first called the triage nurse.

Becky and Oliver were then taken down to A&E before being taken to North Manchester General Hospital’s neonatal unit.

To make matters more dramatic, Becky's husband Jonathan and her eldest son Isaac, 9, were out of the country on a 'lads and dads' weekend in Alicante.

Among the melee of childbirth, the mum-of-two didn't get chance to call Jonathan until Oliver had arrived.

"It went to voicemail and I said 'Answer your phone, your son's arrived'," added Becky.

"He didn't believe me at first, he thought I was joking.

"He had to ring my mother-in-law to check."

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