Southern Cross University midwifery student Kirsty Barker had just finished playing her second last beach volleyball match when she received a call that one of her pregnant midwifery continuity links had gone into labour. After her game in Surfers Paradise on 2 October, Barker was called into the Tweed Hospital to help deliver a baby. Barker rushed to the hospital, although she had plenty of time to spare. The woman’s labour lasted nine hours overnight, and the little bundle of joy was born just shy of 5am.

Barker was thrilled that the pair were healthy, however she was ecstatic that she was able to play in both games. Barker returned to the competition to play her last match with only a quick nap to fuel her. Running on adrenaline alone, the good luck kept coming for Barker, and her team won bronze in the beach volleyball competition. “I felt a bit tired but I think the excitement and nerves took over with playing in the finals,” the third-year midwifery student said. 

Barker is no stranger of delivering a baby under the pressure of sporting competitions. During the same UniSport beach volleyball competition last year, another of Barker’s patients went into labour. Luckily, as with this year, Barker was able to compete and bring new life into the world. “Usually after delivering a baby I get a massive adrenaline rush and can’t sleep, but this time I’m glad I was able to nap before the game,” she said.

The Mermaid Beach local says she decided to study midwifery to pursue a rewarding career in healthcare. With each delivery, Barker is becoming more seasoned in her profession. The thrill and the proud sense of accomplishment, however, does not fade. “It’s really rewarding to be part of such a life changing thing in someone’s life,” Barker said.

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