A baby from Downham Market was nearly a week later than her due date for a very good reason as this helped to win the fantastic accolade of being the 500th baby born at the Midwife-led unit at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Georgia was five days later than her parents Liz (31) and James (32) were expecting but finally arrived at 10.15pm on May 26 at The Waterlily Birth Centre.
Since opening in December 2015, the £600,000 unit has proved to be popular with expectant mums thanks to the home-from-home atmosphere and specially designed birthing pools in ambient rooms.
Civil Engineer James, Liz and Baby Georgia have been presented with special gifts by staff at the unit, including their Midwife Fiona Nairn, to celebrate the 500th birth.
Veterinary Nurse Mrs Callaby said: “It was the most amazing experience and I could not have asked for better and Fiona was lovely to both me and my husband. With Georgia, being our first baby, we did not know what to expect but Fiona put us at ease.
“To be the 500th baby is something really special for Georgia and it will be nice for when she is older.”
Earlier in her pregnancy, Liz had chosen to give birth at Waterlily after hearing good feedback from other mums and midwives.
After five days and no sign of Georgia making an appearance, Liz was induced on the morning of May 26.
As the day went on, Liz began to suffer the early signs of labour but put this down to Braxton Hicks.
She said: “At 4pm, I noticed that I had started to breathe through the pains and later I was having contractions every five minutes for 40 seconds.”
The couple contacted the team at Waterlily and arrived at the Hospital shortly after 8pm.
Within 20 minutes of arriving at Waterlily, Liz’s waters had broken and she began to feel the urge to push.
Liz said: “It all happened so quickly, Fiona was in the middle of the paper work and had to put that to one side.
“She was amazing. Fiona was welcoming and talked us through everything and was very reassuring. She also included James in everything as well. I think because I was so relaxed and at ease, my body could do what it needed to do.”
Georgia was born at 10.15pm weighing 7lb.
Liz said: “I was able to cut the cord, which was an emotional experience as this had kept Georgia connected to me for nine months.
“It was also lovely after the birth as Fiona had made us a bed in a side room and we had time just the three of us, which was really special.
“I feel very lucky to have had this as an experience.”
Fiona, a midwife for 27 years, was delighted to meet up with Liz, James and Georgia again at Waterlily.
She said: “It was absolute privilege as I got to meet a couple but leave a family. Every baby is special and if I ever lose that awe I’ll give it up and do something else.
“Liz followed all the advice and made it easy for me. It is a special relationship that you build up very quickly.”
The Waterlily Birth Unit is one of a series of developments to the Maternity service. Earlier this year the Home Birth service was restarted as part of the Midwife-Led Pathway and an electronic record system has also been introduced.
Director of Nursing Emma Hardwick, who also practiced as a midwife for many years, said: “A good experience is so important for expectant mothers, their partners and the babies.
“I am proud that Fiona, and the rest of the team on Waterlily, have provided a good experience for Liz, James and Georgia but also the hundreds of other families who have used this wonderful facility.
“We have worked hard at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital to provide as much choice as possible for expectant mothers with the relaxed atmosphere of Waterlily, a home birth service along with the excellent facilities on offer at Central Delivery Suite. But most importantly, we are lucky to have such a dedicated team of compassionate and knowledgeable midwives.”
For more information on the choices offered to expectant mothers in maternity contact 01553 214903.
Pictured, clockwise are: Liz Callaby with baby Georgia and husband James with their midwife Fiona Nairn and Director of Nursing Emma Hardwick
New family Liz and James Callaby with daughter Georgia who is the 500th baby to be born at the Waterlily Birth Centre.