by JARROD MAHER
On the 21st of July 2010 at 2am George Clarence Maher was born by the way of an emergency c-section. Virginia, my wife, had to be rushed to Calvary Hospital in Wagga in the middle of the night because of sudden serious bleeding.
The next 24 hours was a real rollercoaster ride – it went from being the worst to the best and back to the worst again of my life so far.
When we arrived at Wagga hospital the first concern was for my wife’s life as she was losing blood at a rapid rate. We were advised that she would have to have an emergency caesarean and the baby would be lucky to survive as it was only 27 weeks old. My wife was then wheeled off for emergency surgery. An hour later (felt like 20) I was sitting with my mother waiting for some news, pacing the corridors feeling like vomiting when a trolley with a baby on it went racing past. I was not sure if it was my baby and even if it was I was too frightened to follow just in case he/she was not alive. The nurse came and said “come and see your beautiful little baby boy, he is over a 1000 grams (apparently that is a good thing) and is doing extremely well.”
I walked in and met my son, George, for the first time. He was beautiful, little but long with good colour. I spoke with the paediatrician and obstetrician and everything was positive. They said being born at this stage he should have a 90% chance of survival. Being a bloke that likes a punt I was extremely confident that everything was going to be fine.
My mum, and family who were around came to meet George. This was a very special time for them. Now that George was looking good I focused on Virginia again as she was taking a long time to come out of theatre it was probably another hour before she came out of recovery. She was very pale and was still sedated. We wheeled her in to meet George and all she could ask was if he was ok. She loved his name and thought he sounded like a strong big boy. Virginia rubbed his leg and held his hand.
After speaking with the nurses and doctors again we decided to try and get some sleep as George would have to be transferred to a hospital in Sydney with the facilities to look after him until he would be big enough to come home. This would be happening at some stage that day. I tried to sleep on the floor next to Virginia without a great deal of success. At about 7am all our family started to arrive to meet George. Pa parked his truck out the front hoping George might get a glimpse, Poppy arrived and was impressed with how long he was, thought he might be a front rower! During this time everyone was trying to get onto Brendan my brother as he was running a camp in the Tee Wee Islands. There is no phone coverage up there so I am still unsure how he received the message. Paul and Chris (Virginia’s brothers) came up and met George as everyone knew we would be heading to Sydney so they might not see us for a while. Nat my sister came from West Wyalong with her children. I tried to tell her not to come over as it will be ok, just to come to Sydney in a week or two. Lucky she came then.