Quilt display a labour of love by Ipswich Hospital midwives

A labour of love celebrating the arrival of 1978 precious babies born at the turn of this century is turning heads and rousing fond memories at Ipswich Hospital.

A hallway exhibition of 16 framed quilts that bear the names, date and time of birth and weight of babies born in the year 2000 is on display outside the Level 6 Outpatient Department.

Brown triplets
The Brown triplets were born on 17 April 2000.

Ipswich Hospital Museum secretary Jane Kingston said the quilts were made by Ipswich Hospital’s nursing and midwifery team to commemorate the second millennium.

“This was truly a labour of love by the Ipswich Hospital’s nursing and midwifery team and some of the quilts – which showcase babies according to their birth month – also include pictures of the staff involved in the creation of the quilts,” Ms Kingston said.

“The quilts were previously on display in the Birthing Suite but were removed in 2013 during a refurbishment so we are delighted to see these beautiful quilts back in the public eye to celebrate the 21st birthdays of these millennial babies.”

The quilts were hung by the Ipswich Hospital Foundation volunteers.

A recent post on the Friends of Ipswich Hospital Museum Facebook page has attracted more than 800 comments from interested community members, including many parents and now-grown-up children whose images line the Level 6 corridor.

Among them was Gatton resident Kim Brown, who returned to Ipswich Hospital with her husband Darren and children Liam, Samantha, and Madeline this week to view the embroidered inscription announcing the much-anticipated arrival of her triplets on 17 April 2000.

Ms Brown said the quilt project, which she did not know existed until this month, had brought back precious memories of her babies’ safe arrival.

Kim Brown inspects the quilts.
Kim Brown inspects the framed quilts.

“I still have vivid memories. I went into labour naturally at 35 weeks at 2.30am and because I had to have a caesarean, and there needed to be so many staff on hand per baby, there was a cast of thousands in the delivery room – I felt like I had woken up half of Ipswich,’’ Ms Brown said.

“I only had one chance to experience the ‘baby phase’ and I really did enjoy it. It was an incredibly busy time – I ran my home like a military camp – so it is lovely to have this chance to look back and reflect on that happy time.’’

Ms Brown’s babies were delivered at Ipswich Hospital by now-retired obstetrician, Dr Michael Gordon, who was credited with delivering about 6000 babies and overseeing another 50,000 local births during his 40-year career.

The triplets were cared for in the Special Care Nursery for nine days before going home with their proud parents. Today, the trio live together in Ipswich while pursuing their respective studies in engineering, mathematics and physics and biomedical science at The University of Queensland.

“Dr Gordon was the most relaxed obstetrician, which made me relaxed, and the Special Care Nursery team were amazing. I cannot fault any of the staff at Ipswich Hospital, they were all amazing,’’ Ms Brown said.

West Moreton Health’s Nursing Midwifery Director Lyn Barrett said the quilts had attracted great interest from staff and community members alike.

“It has been wonderful to see people stop and marvel at the work that went into the millennium quilt project. I have seen people stop and point out the photo of a loved one, and it has also brought a smile to some of the staff members who were involved in the project,” she said.

“Midwives and nurses are special people and I think this is a wonderful example of the genuine care our staff show for the community they serve.

“These quilts reflect moments of joy and celebration, but we also remember the families who have experienced the loss of a child. Every baby is precious and fondly remembered.”