A single shift was all that separated the last baby born at the Bega District Hospital being delivered by one of the last born at the Old Bega Hospital.
Ivy Ryann Briggs arrived by C-section at 1.25am on Tuesday, March 8.
She weighed 2.79kg and is the first child for Rebecca Miller and Eli Briggs.
Only hours after Ivy’s birth, mum and bub were transported to the new South East Regional Hospital among the first patients to take up residence in the $187million state-of-the-art facility.
In a fascinating coincidence, theatre nurse Mary Hackett – who was on duty the previous night – was among the last two babies born at the OBH, also at 1.20am on moving day – July 2, 1956!
“I was either the last baby born there, or the second-last – it was 60 years ago!” Ms Hackett said with a smile.
She missed helping deliver Ivy by less than 24 hours, but was excited to meet her on Thursday as she prepared to begin her first shift in the brand new SERH theatres.
In another interesting twist, Ms Hackett did her nurse training in 1974 at the Bega District Hospital under Dr Ted Bloomfield, who had delivered her in 1956 – and who also subsequently delivered her own two children in Bega.
Ms Hackett said the SERH was “brilliant” and she felt it had further increased staff morale.
“Everyone was positive before now, but it’s exciting and all so modern.
“It was sad to walk down the steps [of the Bega Disitrct Hospital] knowing it was for the last time, but I knew I was coming to something bigger and better.
“I even bought new shoes to wear to work!”
Ms Miller and Mr Briggs said the transfer to the SERH went smoothly and all the staff were “really nice”.
“The ambos were awesome and everyone took great care of us,” Mr Briggs said.
They were also pretty pleased with their new surroundings.
“It’s lovely and they’re great views – if you like cows!” he said with a laugh.
Ms Miller is from Auckland and Mr Briggs has plenty of family at Pambula Beach.
Maternity manager at SERH Simone Shaw said a few teething problems were to be expected with a brand new building, but everything was going well.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, but we hope the community can now enjoy the benefits of this,” she said.