When young Mavis Gaff-Smith started her nursing career in 1964, she never expected she would deliver her great-grandson at Wagga Base Hospital 50 years later.
Wagga Base Hospital midwife Mavis Gaff-Smith (centre) delivered her great-grandson Hamish Giovannelli on April 15. Mavis also delivered Hamish’s mother – her granddaughter – Hannah Roberts (left) 22 years ago. Hannah, Mavis and Hamish are pictured with Mary-Jo Cutler, Mavis’s daughter and Hannah’s mother. Picture: Les Smith
On April 15, this rare event happened when Ms Gaff-Smith delivered Hamish, son of her granddaughter Hannah.
22 years earlier, Ms Gaff-Smith delivered Hannah.
Describing the moment as extremely special, Ms Gaff-Smith said despite working in midwifery for so many years she still found birth amazing.
“From day one Hannah wanted me to deliver her baby,” Ms Gaff-Smith said.
As she delivered the baby, Ms Gaff-Smith’s daughter and mother to Hannah, Mary-Jo Cutler, placed her hands on top of her mothers.
“I guided her hands, and we delivered it together,” Ms Gaff-Smith said.
“To be able to deliver both my grandchild and great-grandchild is such a rarity.”
The committed midwife is a well known-face at the Wagga Base Hospital, for both the longevity of her career and her writing projects.
Authoring a number of books about her experiences in midwifery, her latest book is hot off the press, ready to be released on May 5.
This latest book, Midwifery at Crow City, is a collection of experiences and anecdotes from over the years.
Ms Gaff-Smith said fellow midwives are constantly handing her pieces of paper with funny stories.
“There are lots of bloopers,” Ms Gaff-Smith said.
“Once a woman came and asked for her doctor and said ‘I’m here to be seduced’, instead of induced,” she said.
Hannah said while she was initially she was embarrassed about her grandmother being so intimately involved in the birth of her son, now she could not imagine it any other way.
“She knows me and my pain receptors, so she knew what to say and what was best for me,” she said.
When asked if she would invite her grandmother to deliver any future children, Ms Roberts said she would.
For new grand-mother, Ms Cutler, the experience was overwhelmingly positive.
“It was the nicest possible experience, having my mum in there. She was so supportive and it was so intimate,” Ms Cutler said.
As Ms Cutler, Hannah and Ms Gaff-Smith gathered together holding Hamish, it was clear that having four generations together had made the moment extra special they would always treasure.