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Craigieburn family’s surprise home birth

November 15, 2023 | in News

A Craigieburn family received quite the shock earlier this year when mother, Jolene Peters, went into labour at home in the early hours of 3 July.

Jolene had been at the hospital less than an hour earlier and had returned home to continue what she thought was the early stages of labour.

Parents Haki Paul (left) and Jolene Peters (right) with AV paramedics Sarah Pollock and
Freda Andrikopoulos holding Wirihana Paul.

But in what felt like no time at all her baby was on the way.

Having given birth three times previously, including once at home, Jolene made herself comfortable on the couch while her partner, Haki Paul called Triple Zero (000).

“As soon I realised what was happening I called the ambulance. I was in full panic mode and didn’t know what to do,” Haki said.

“It all happened so fast but luckily the paramedics arrived so quickly.”

AV paramedics Freda Andrikopoulos and Sarah Pollock with baby Wirihana Paul shortly
after they helped deliver him.

Ambulance Victoria paramedics Freda Andrikopoulos and Sarah Pollock were on scene within minutes and helped deliver baby Wirihana.

Both Sarah and Freda had delivered babies previously and were mentally preparing to face the risks associated with a home birth.

“When you’re dispatched to a home birth there is some fear. We didn’t really have much time to prepare, but we spoke about a few things that could happen,” Sarah said.

“When we arrived she wasn’t crowning so we thought we would get her into the ambulance and go to hospital but then it just happened.”

Wirihana Paul (centre) was all smiles when he caught up with paramedics Sarah Pollock (left) and Freda Andrikopoulos (right).

Now four months old, baby Wirihana and his family reunited with Sarah and Freda. 

“Very rarely do we get to follow up on our patients let alone the babies we deliver, so it’s nice to see him healthy and developing,” Freda said. 

“It’s quite a special moment and especially doing it with Sarah, she’s one of my greatest friends.”

Adding to the excitement of his dramatic birth, Wirihana was one of the first Aboriginal babies to be born in Melbourne during NAIDOC (National Aborigines’ and Islanders’ Day Observance Committee) Week, which ran from 2 – 9 July, 2023.

Jolene said she would always be grateful for the paramedics who helped safely deliver her beautiful baby boy.

“It was a very quick labour and pretty hectic but I felt safe with the paramedics there,” she said.

“Now I have my healthy and happy baby boy who is always smiling.”