The Fera Family's Story

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Surprise Entrance

It was like something you see on television. Except it was happening to her, and she was about to deliver a baby she didn’t even know she was expecting.

Petula Fera assumed that due to her age, she and her husband Tony wouldn’t have a baby. In January 2021, after experiencing abdominal pain, she suspected she might have a urinary tract infection and asked her husband to take her to Georgetown Hospital. Due to pandemic restrictions, he couldn’t come into the hospital with her.

She had blood and urine tests and was assessed by a physician and nurse, who congratulated her on her pregnancy. Petula had no idea what they were talking about.

“They were asking me all kinds of questions about how far along I was and I couldn’t answer them,” said Petula. She says looking back there were signs, but she explained away her weight gain due to working from home and the stress of the pandemic.

After an ultrasound, the physician said they thought she was fairly far along in her pregnancy and transferred her to the Obstetrics department for further tests. She was still trying to understand what was happening when she was advised that she was in active labour. Between contractions, Petula managed to tell her surprised husband on the phone that she was about to deliver a baby.

He knew it wasn’t a joke and raced back to the hospital, arriving just minutes before their son Christian was born. The baby was breathing but was immediately taken for further assessment as he was born prematurely at an estimated 32 weeks.

Within a few hours he was transferred to Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital’s special care nursery, where he spent the first month of his life. While awaiting transport, he was cared for at Georgetown Hospital with many pieces of special equipment, including an infant radiant warmer to keep him warm and allow the nurses to safely monitor his vital signs.

“We were in shock, and just trying to process all of the information that was coming at us,” said Petula. “In the span of 15 hours I went from thinking I had a bladder infection, to finding out I was pregnant, to delivering a baby and being discharged from the hospital.”

Petula thanks the Emergency and Obstetrics departments for the great care she and Christian received at Georgetown Hospital, particularly the nurse who coached her through her contractions. 

“The Emergency doctor said in her 20-year career she’s never seen anything like this,” Petula shared. “It was only later that I learned that all of the equipment that was used on Christian and me – from the ultrasound to the labour bed to the infant radiant warmer – was purchased through community donations to Georgetown Hospital. I am so grateful for the amazing care I received from the doctors and nurses, and for the community supporting our local hospital.”

Today, Christian is an active toddler and Petula and Tony look forward to one day sharing with him the beautiful story of his surprise entrance into the world.