When you’ve chosen to have an elective caesarean, one would expect a fast and trouble free birth. After a short stay in recovery you’re back to your room and you begin your journey as mum and bub, with all the help you could ever need on hand in the hospital. But even the simplest of plans can quickly change.

We chatted recently with new mama Kat who in mid-January this year was admitted to Jessie McPherson Private Hospital at 38 weeks, ready to meet her little girl. This was Kat’s first child and the thought of finally bringing into this world the small life that had been growing inside her, had both Kat and her partner excited, but anxious, about how their lives were about to change now that they would become parents. Kat had chosen an elective caesarean on the advice of her obstetrician; based on her age and history – she’d had three heartbreaking miscarriages and didn’t want the possibility of anything going wrong.

“We found ourselves admitted during one of the busiest days and periods this year for both births and caesareans. The nurses said we were one of around 11 couples having caesareans on this day. The procedure went well and there was my new little girl, healthy and well. As I lay in recovery the amazing nurses took my husband down to our room and helped him settle with Georgie, who looked just like a perfect baby. How blessed we were.

On day two one of the gorgeous nurses was helping me with Georgie when she noticed some blue in her lips. Something was wrong and it was something big. She rushed her out to the nursery and within minutes a team of 10 were on hand. It was a code blue. She was having trouble breathing. She was quickly diagnosed as a TGA baby. Transposition of the Greater Arteries – in simple words, the arteries that ran from the heart and lungs were in reverse.

My panic began naturally and soon I was in hysterics. The cardiac team (never dreamt we’d need one of them) explained they needed to put a balloon in her heart to keep the blood flowing and to keep Georgie alive.

Thank goodness we were in Jessie Mc, which is co-located with Monash Health a tertiary hospital with cardiac and children’s specialties. I’d never realised how important that link was until that day.

She was immediately taken as a private Jessie Mc patient up the corridor into Monash Medical Centre, operated on and cared for in the amazing Monash Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for the following week until she stabilised.

I was so lucky to be able to be up the corridor from her for that week. It would have been heartbreaking to be in a different hospital across town. My gorgeous Georgie was then transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital for specialist cardiac surgery and after recovering there for three weeks, she came home.

Jessie Mc patients are so lucky to have such amazing tertiary hospital facilities right on their doorstep. Frighteningly, if I had have chosen a private hospital without the specialist neonatal and cardiac teams up the corridor, I would not have my Georgie girl with me today.

The staff were amazing and they were always there to chat and comfort me through the difficult time we were facing. Even after I was discharged and several months later, I am still getting calls from the ward to see how our daughter is going and how I am coping with motherhood. Helen, Robyn and the nursing team were fantastic.”

Almost five months on and Georgie is doing well. Her regular two-month checkups will soon be moved out to six months and the whole family is settling well into life as a family of three. We wish them all the best. xx

Jessie McPherson Private Hospital is a 106-bed tertiary level private hospital co-located at Monash Medical Centre since 1987. Its co-location with Monash Health provides a unique opportunity for private patients to access tertiary-level specialist care and the latest breakthroughs in clinical care and research, when needed. For further information visit www.jessiemcpherson.org and www.monashchildrenshospital.org