Councillor Brett Owen’s delivery room rush

The Owen family: Jackie, Max, Brett, Will and little Maggie. Pictures: Stewart Chambers

By Melissa Grant

Little Maggie Adelaide Owen burst into the world so quickly that father Brett nearly missed her birth.

In fact, the Cardinia Shire Ranges Ward Councillor only got to the the delivery room moments before Maggie was born.

“Brett made it with about 10 minutes to spare,” wife Jackie recalled.

“I had sent him home because they started monitoring me. I was being induced and thought it would be a while before anything happened.”

But things progressed quickly even though Jackie’s waters were yet to be broken.

“I said ‘you better call my husband’. It was 4am in the morning,” she said.

Brett was at home in Beaconsfield, only a short drive from St John of God Hospital where his wife was well into labour.

“I only got to the hospital at 4.31am and that was downstairs,” Brett recalled.

“Lucky it was at that time in the morning. If I had to battle school traffic I would have never made it.”

Jackie agreed the timing of the drive was fortunate.

“I wasn’t holding on any longer!” she said.

Maggie was born at 4.44am on 21 March 2019, weighing 3.8kg.

She is the first daughter for Brett and Jackie, who are already parents to Max, 7, and Will, 6.

The Owens knew during the pregnancy that they were expecting a girl and decided to announce the exciting news via a Facebook video.

They bought a gender reveal balloon and practiced what they would say when the camera started rolling.

But when the balloon popped, Will strayed from the script by shouting “It’s a boy … oh it’s a girl” as pink confetti went everywhere.

Maggie shares the same first name as her maternal grandmother. Her middle name Adelaide begins with the same letter as her brothers’ middle names (Ainslie and Alexander).

The boys adore their little sister, particularly Will.

“Will is very besotted. He’s always loved babies. He gives her a lot of kisses,” Jackie said.

Will also sings his own version of Rock-a-bye Baby to his little sister, changing the last line to “brother will catch you, cradle and all”.

Jackie says Will is definitely the performer of the family, while Max is the quiet achiever.

She predicts Maggie will be “the boss” or “the diva”.

So far, Maggie is pretty content – she sleeps well at night and loves being wheeled around the neighbourhood.

“Maggie loves the pram. I did a 6.5km walk around Beaconsfield the other day,” Brett said.

Having the time to go on a 6.5km walk is actually a bit of a luxury for Brett, who typically works very long hours.

Jackie estimates her husband spends about 40 hours a week on council duties, which is on top of his work as a full-time police officer.

The Owens are a pretty busy family – Jackie is doing her Masters in Forensic Behavioural Science, Will is rehearsing for his first play and Max plays football and basketball.

Maggie, like her brothers, will be a regular fixture at events across the municipality.

Brett often takes his kids along to the family friendly events he attends as a councillor.

He is well known throughout the shire – he’s been on council since 2005 and has had two stints as mayor.

But he says being a father has given him an entirely different perspective on council services.

“Playgrounds – I look at them differently now. I even look at public toilets differently!”