From the womb to the workplace

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How a midwife played a crucial role in a colleague’s life?

When Associate Midwifery Unit Manager Nicole Bailey assisted with birthing Regan Edmonds 23 years ago at Cairns Hospital, she never guessed they would end up working in the same unit.

Regan Edwards as a newborn

Regan Edwards as a Newborn

Nicole was also aged 23 at the time and a newly minted Midwife when she birthed Regan. Now 23 years old, Regan had just started as a Midwife at Cairns Hospital when the pair put two-and-two together.

'Regan came to me a few weeks ago and asked if I was working here in March 1999,' Nicole said. 'I had to think for a little bit because I had left and come back. I said 'oh yeah I would have been here. I would have not long finished my Midwifery training’.

'Regan pulled out a photo of her and her cot card and I said ‘I wasn't your Midwife for your birth was I?’ and she said ‘yeah my mum’s been asking me for ages if there is a Nicole who still works here’. The cot card had all my writing on it. It was fascinating.

'After I thought about it for a little bit I realised I would have been 23 and right at the beginning of my career as well.'

The call to Midwifery started young for Regan. From the age of 12, she had determined her current career path and later studied a dual degree in nursing and midwifery, worked for a year at Biloela and started at Cairns Hospital maternity unit in late 2021.

'I wanted to be a Midwife since I was 12. I was in love with babies and it kind of extended from there,' she said.

'Everyone is really welcoming and friendly (at Cairns Hospital). It's the best job in the world and very rewarding.'

Midwives are there every step of the way from pregnancy to postnatal care. Thursday 5 May is International Day of the Midwife, and an opportunity to recognise the incredible work Midwives do in supporting mothers to bring new life into the world.

'It can be incredibly rewarding to watch a family become a family,' Nicole said. 'That’s one of the really lovely things about Midwifery.

'It’s always such exciting news that a baby is coming and to be involved in that throughout the pregnancy, when the baby is born, and often you visit them at home as well. Just seeing that transition and being able to support them … you do get that real sense of helping someone as well, which is lovely.'