An unexpected surprise

By Daniel Hughes

When Brie Rees’s baby decided to enter the world about midnight on June 25, the race was on to get to the hospital before it arrived.

She and her husband Jake did get to Finley Hospital in time, but they did not quite make it inside the building.

Arlo Edward Rees was born in the hospital’s car park at 2.45am, 18 days earlier than expected.

Mrs Rees was booked to give birth at Albury Wodonga Hospital on July 13.

‘‘I was induced for my first two children so I thought they were Braxton Hicks contractions,’’ Mrs Rees said.

‘‘Our other children — Cutta, 14, and Olivia, 19 months — had to be dropped off with my parents just 5km outside of Finley, towards Berrigan, and so with Cutta’s help we quickly packed the car.

‘‘Cutta was incredible on the night, he was calm and made sure we had everything we needed. He also took care of Olivia while we were away.’’

After dropping off their children, Mr and Mrs Rees made the executive decision they weren't going to make it to Wodonga as contractions were minutes apart.

They turned back toward Finley. When they arrived, around 2.30am, Mr Rees ran inside to call the nursing staff.

‘‘Jake came back from seeing the nurse and grabbed blankets from our car, and then we birthed Arlo together. It was really quick thankfully,” Mrs Rees said.

‘‘Because he was early, he was a little small (6lb 4oz) and cold.

‘‘The nursing staff arrived and brought me inside. They had phoned our doctor Sutharsamohan Sankaralingam.

‘‘When he arrived, Arlo’s cord was cut and the nurses did all the required checks before it was safe to transport us to Wodonga.

‘‘We spent one night there before we were headed back home to pick up the children.’’

Mrs Rees said she would not have made it through the ‘‘stressful time’’ so well without the support of her husband.

‘‘Jake did so well; he was really calm and supportive the whole time,’’ Mrs Rees said.

‘‘Not to mention our son who was such a big help on the night.

‘‘The distance to travel for all mums in rural areas is always a concern, but we were very lucky to have no complications with Arlo’s birth.

“Arlo is really settled now; he’s a bit sleepy but doing really well. Olivia absolutely loves him, she’s so gentle with him. We prepared her with some baby dolls so she would be aware of how to hold and take care of him.’’