Mother and baby

Melody Walker with her son James Pearce

04 September 2020

Melody Walker did not expect to have a baby at the age of 39.

Melody’s partner Robert had previously gone through cancer treatment, and, combined with Melody’s medical history, the couple were told the odds of conceiving were very slim. Then came along their miracle baby, James.

James Pearce was born at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (CHWC) on 22 June. As the couple’s only child and the family’s only grandchild, Melody admits the 10-week is already “very, very spoilt”.

CHWC is undergoing an expansion project which will provide a new postnatal ward, effectively doubling the number of postnatal beds from 15 to 30, with 24 single rooms and three shared rooms.

Melody is one of more than 3,000 mothers supported and cared for by the staff at the CHWC each year and who will get to experience their births in the newly enhanced environment

The hospital’s Maternity Assessment Unit will also double in size to include eight treatment bays.

Melody visited the Maternity Assessment unit regularly during her pregnancy due to a few complications related to her diabetes, as well as fluid retention and high blood pressure.

“I was in there quite frequently, seeing quite a few of the doctors there. I had to keep a log diary of all the insulin readings and so forth,” she said.

Despite the requirement of forceps and suction, Melody considered her 19-hour labour to be “pretty standard”, commending her doctor and two midwives.

“They were absolutely busy, but they always, always had the time to come in and check things and talk to you and double check,” she said.

“As a new mum … if you're not feeling well while things are happening you need quick advice, and the midwives were amazing for it. So, I definitely would go back there.”

For more information on the CHWC expansion, click here.

All Canberra

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