GEORGE Hewett's first child, Henry, turned five months old on Friday.

That in itself tells part of the tale of the Sydney midfielder's eventful year, given Henry arrived about 12 weeks premature in an "exciting but a bit of a scary time" on January 12.

There was little to no warning of what was to come.

WATCH TRENT COTCHIN IN LAST TIME I CRIED

Richmond skipper opens up on the latest episode of Last Time I Cried, presented by AIA Vitality

Watch Now

Hewett and his partner, Alice Summers, were out on a morning walk when she suddenly felt some sharp pain, not dissimilar to a cramp.

They initially brushed it off – Hewett even ducked off briefly to Bunnings for a few supplies – but Alice's pain lingered long enough for them to contact the hospital.

From there, everything happened pretty quickly.

"The hospital was like, 'That's a bit unusual; come in for a look' and once we got in there, they said, 'You're having this little one in a couple of hours if we don't slow it down'," Hewett told AFL.com.au.

"So they had to give her a few steroid injections and stuff to slow everything down a bit, then he came the next day.

"I think we were in there for about 24 to 30 hours."

01:14 Mins
Published on

Match Preview: Sydney v Essendon

Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the Sydney v Essendon clash at the SCG

Published on

Henry spent the next nine weeks being monitored in hospital, with Hewett training in the mornings then spending most of the rest of each day with his infant son.

The good news is Henry is home now and not only going well but thriving.

Sydney's George Hewett and his son Henry. Picture: Supplied

At the same time, that period took an emotional toll on Hewett, even if he's reluctant to admit it.

The 24-year-old's parents flew in from South Australia on the night of Henry's birth but neither he nor Alice has family living in Sydney.

Coach John Longmire and the club's player welfare boss, Dennis Carroll, both visited them in hospital and were aware of everything that was going on.

On a lighter note, teammates Tom Papley and Tom McCartin were responsible for bringing extra clothes to the hospital "but grabbed all the wrong stuff".

04:32 Mins
Published on

Lloydy's Lists: Best after-the-siren goals

Matthew Lloyd counts down his top five after-the-siren goals

Published on

Hewett, who finished runner-up in Sydney's club champion award in a career-best 2019 season, struggled, like many Swans did, in their Marsh Community Series opener against Greater Western Sydney.

With everything going on in his personal life, plus some soreness, he and Longmire decided it was best for him not to play in the second and final pre-season hit-out.

A much bigger surprise was to come, when Hewett was left out of Sydney's round one side.

"'Horse' (Longmire) was very good throughout my situation and I don't want to overplay it," he said.

He could see I maybe wasn't myself a bit … I was a bit down – he was so good in the whole situation.

"(Round one) was the weekend when you spend two nights with your baby in hospital before they come out, so I guess it worked out well like that.

"I didn't get picked but I had a pretty big milestone, with Henry coming home, and looking back on those nine weeks – they felt pretty long."

George Hewett in action for the Swans during their Marsh Community Series clash against GWS in February. Picture: AFL Photos

Hewett returns for Sunday's game against Essendon at the SCG, after doing the hard yards in the shutdown period with teammates and noted runners Harry Cunningham and Colin O'Riordan.

ROUNDS 2-5 Check out the full fixture

"My form just dropped a little bit – that's all it takes – and a lot of boys were training and playing well, and I didn't make the team," he said.

"Obviously, it was a bit disappointing but it happens. I just went to work in the break.

"I've always felt like I've had to work hard for what I want to be, and I feel like I've always been pretty good at that. I like the process of getting rewards from working hard." 

Regular training partners Harry Cunningham and George Hewett at the Swans' Moore Park headquarters in May. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

As for Henry and Alice, Hewett is grateful everything turned out after his son's frantic welcome to the world.

"It was pretty frightening for Alice but she did very well and I probably just want to say, if anything, we are so thankful for the doctors and nurses at Randwick hospital," he said.

"They were godsends, amazing – we couldn't thank them enough.

"We haven't taken little Henry back, because the rules around the coronavirus there are quite strict, but we have a lot of respect and are very thankful for everything they've done.

"It'd be nice if they got noticed more."