A family from Lynn have thanked a hospital unit which cared for their baby son who was born two months prematurely.
Baby Oliver Melton surprised his parents with his early arrival and was also delivered by his father in a labour which lasted just 11 minutes.
Gina Melton was sent home from her work following a 10-hour shift as a Sister on Elm Ward at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, when Oliver suddenly made his appearance into the world.
Her husband Ben delivered Oliver in the couple’s bedroom with help from a paramedic over the phone and Gina.
The couple have now thanked the nurses at the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for caring for Oliver in the days after his birth on September 16.
Gina said: “The team on NICU were amazing. Our family will be eternally grateful for what they did for Oliver. It was an unusual delivery.”
Gina had been feeling unwell due to a bladder infection and continued to work as it would take her mind off feeling unwell.
On the advice of a colleague, Gina had gone to Delivery Suite to be monitored which showed that the baby was happy and healthy and there was no evidence of contractions.
Bladder infections have been known to bring on early labour so Gina sought the advice of the midwives.
She was prescribed antibiotics, told to rest and consider taking early maternity leave or reduce her hours as this was her body’s way of saying it was time to slow down.
Gina later went home at 6pm where her husband Ben ran her a bath. But shortly after, her waters broke and Ben rang for an ambulance.
She said: “My pain went through the roof and I felt the need to push. Ben was advised by the paramedics to cover the floor with towels.
“Oliver managed to miss all the towels ironically, leaving quite a mess on my cream carpets!
“As I’m a nurse, I was calm and listened to the operator on the phone. I remember talking Ben through what to do in between pushes and knew I had to be on the ball as it was too early for the baby to come.
“When Oliver was safely delivered by Ben, he thankfully came out screaming, which was such a relief to us both.
“The paramedics and my parents arrived about 30 seconds after he was born.”
Oliver arrived weighing 4lb 11ozs, which is a healthy weight considering how premature he was, and was placed “skin to skin” for the journey to the QEH with his mum.
He was stabilised in the A&E department before being transferred to NICU where he was treated for respiratory distress syndrome, suspected sepsis and jaundice.
Gina said: “They give babies under 34 weeks caffeine infusions to encourage them to breathe and encourage brain activity.
“Oliver was taken off oxygen and breathing assistance after four days and by day six was transferred from an incubator to a heated cot and moved into the nursery.
“Oliver quickly learned to feed and was discharged with a feeding tube, which was later removed by the neonatal community team 48 hours later. The team on NICU were brilliant. Oliver is doing really well and is a happy and contented baby.”
Gina and Ben raised £250 for NICU and £480 for the Bliss Charity during a sponsored walk at Sandringham during December.