Doctor retires after overseeing more than 50,000 births
THE FEELING that comes along with delivering new life into the world never changes, even after you've personally done it close to 6000 times.
That mixture of immense joy and relief never fades with each new baby born for obstetrician Dr Michael Gordon, who also oversaw another estimated 50,000 births over the course of his career.
The 75-year-old has decided to call it a day after 40 years of continuous service at Ipswich Hospital.
He first started at the hospital in 1973 as an obstetric and paediatric registrar before three years of training at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane.
After graduating from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London in 1976, he returned to Ipswich two years later where he has remained ever since.
Dr Gordon also worked at St Andrew's Ipswich Private Hospital and was the former Director of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Chair of Surgery at Ipswich Hospital.
"I haven't had time to sit back and reflect on it all," he said.
"I wanted to be a doctor and obstetrician from quite an early stage of my youth.
"I was fortunate that I was able to do what I wanted to do and keep practising. You count your successes but in that time you're still going to lose babies and that happens and that can be a bit hard to take."
He has delivered a couple of sets of triplets, been involved with delivering three generations of the one family and even delivered a child for parents he himself had brought into the world.
"Architects will often point out the buildings and say I designed that, whereas I see kids walking around and say I delivered that child," he laughed.
"My pride is seeing happy families and kids."
The number of staff committed to taking care of pregnant women had grown and technology had come a long way too.
"It's a little bit like riding a bike," he said.
"You can get a better and better bike to ride but you've still got to pedal.
"You can have all of the technology but childbirth still happens naturally most times. We do a few more caesareans these days than we used to. Neonatal care and the paediatric side of obstetrics has improved greatly in that time."
Dr Gordon said staying cool, calm and collected during a pregnancy was crucial as it was important to have one least one person in the birth suite who is still in command, even if he didn't always feel that way.
"A lot of people when they see me say would I mind taking this child back. I don't take returns," he joked.
"I'd have to buy the boys and girls grammar (schools) to fit half of them in."
See the phenomenal community response to Dr Gordon's retirement.