Melissa and Pat Heaton could not believe Melissa’s planned caesarean was cancelled minutes before the procedure.
Melissa and Pat Heaton could not believe Melissa’s planned caesarean was cancelled minutes before the procedure. Valerie Horton

Teary mum's baby scare

A 39-WEEK pregnant Aramara woman and her husband were reeling yesterday after a caesarean section at Hervey Bay Hospital was called off at the last minute.

Melissa and Pat Heaton were so alarmed by the 11th-hour decision they waited in the hospital carpark until a second opinion could be secured.

The experience left Ms Heaton doubtful about having the baby in Hervey Bay.

However, hospital officials said yesterday's decision was made in the interests of mother and child.

Ms Heaton said the c-section was booked a week ago because the foetus was in an abnormal transverse position and because of her gestational diabetes.

“They wouldn't let her go full term because of the gestational diabetes – it can make her very ill and she can possibly die inside me,” Ms Heaton explained.

“I've had five days to think it over and stress about it.”

She also fasted from the night before in anticipation of the operation, arranged baby-sitters for her two children and booked a motel.

The Heatons made the hour-long journey from west of Maryborough to Hervey Bay on Wednesday to prepare for the birth yesterday.

Ms Heaton was in a hospital gown ready to be wheeled into surgery when her day took an alarming turn.

The examining obstetrician informed her that the foetus had moved, she no longer needed the operation and she should go home.

This news contradicted a previous diagnosis which stated the baby could die because of the gestational diabetes.

The Heatons were told yesterday that the doctor who made that diagnosis was not an expert in the area and there was no medical reason for her to have a c-section.

Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay Health Service District northern cluster manager Beth Norton said the decision to call off the planned c-section was made in the best interests of mother and child.

“We understand that the parents were very concerned about the health of their unborn baby, but the highly trained specialist who made the decision has 20 years of experience with these issues and he determined it was safer for both the mother and the baby to not face the risk of unnecessary surgery,” she said.

“Our Fraser Coast director of obstetrics and gynaecology also examined the patient and concurs with the first doctor's decision.

“If there was an issue with the way the decision was communicated with the patients I sincerely apologise.”

Mr Heaton said his wife no longer wanted to have her baby at Hervey Bay Hospital and was considering driving to Bundaberg and staying there until the baby arrived.



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