FULL CIRCLE: Hospital’s first ever baby delivers her child
MIDWIFE Frances Beard was working on the first day St Andrew's Ipswich Private Hospital's maternity ward opened its doors.
She helped deliver the first baby in the Margaret Harvey Ward.
Fast forward 32 years later, she was there as new mum Kelleigh Wallace welcomed her first child into the world at St Andrew's.
Mrs Beard has been working at the hospital since 1987 with the maternity ward opening the next year.
"I worked in the afternoon the day the unit opened," she said.
"We had three babies born that but Kelleigh was the first."
A fellow staff member told Mrs Beard that the first baby born at the hospital was back and she recalled her surname 32 years on.
She said she has loved her three decades working with mums and bubs at St Andrew's.
"We've had other people have babies who have been born here but obviously not the very first one," she said.
"It was an interesting day.
"Often the mums come back and we see them the first time and a second time or a third time.
"It's nice to see the families happily come and happily go home."
Baby boy Alexander is settling in well with Ms Wallace and her partner Jason Triffett at their home in Purga.
"To have my baby at St Andrew's is pretty special because it's so nice to pass that on to him that we were born in the same town and the same hospital," she said.
"Ipswich is my home town and where I work and have lived pretty much all my life."
Ms Wallace said it was a strange experience to meet the woman who helped bring her into the world.
"(Mrs Beard) said she remembers the day I was born and all of the celebrations happening at the hospital," she said.
"It's a personal touch knowing she helped my mum with me and now she helped me with my son.
"It's a family feel.
"Her and Mum saw each other for the first time in 32 years. It was special."