History repeats for babies born blue

HISTORY may not repeat, but often it rhymes, so the saying goes, and that seems to be the case for new grandmother Debbie McGrath and her family.

There was an odd familiarity when Ms McGrath’s daughter Jessica McBurnie, 19, gave birth to her son Chase in the early hours of Easter Saturday.

The tiny bundle of joy, born three weeks early, was not breathing when he first arrived — much like Jessica herself all those years ago.

“I thought to myself, ‘oh no, not again’,” Ms McGrath said.

Jessica was ‘born blue’ — a term that usually refers to babies born with heart defects — and spent her first weeks in a Melbourne hospital.

Ms McGrath and Jessica were on the front page of The Border Mail in 1995 as she spoke about the condition and the fear that went along with it as a new mum.

The front-page story about Jessica McBurnie's birth as a blue baby.

The front-page story about Jessica McBurnie's birth as a blue baby.

Chase started breathing soon after birth, though he remains in a humidicrib as his temperature still hasn’t stabilised.

He will stay at Wodonga hospital until at least the end of the week.

“We’re just so grateful for the quick work of the doctors,” Ms McGrath said.

In another coincidence, Chase was actually due on May 11 — not only Mother’s Day but also Jessica’s own birthday.

“But he was the best Easter present we could get,” Ms McGrath said.

“Chocolates just couldn’t suffice after that.”