WE FOUND out in early June, 2022, that we were expecting our third child.
I live in Dumbleyung and started seeing a doctor locally in Katanning with plans to give birth in either Narrogin or Albany, but not transferring care until further along.
Fortunately Katanning has a great local sonographer, but our plans soon changed once she shared the news at our first scan that there were in fact twins on board.
Already having two children, the news of twins was overwhelming and we had a huge amount of nerves and questions surrounding the pregnancy, the birth and having twin babies.
We were told to change our care to an obstetrician who specialises in twins.
Thankfully there are several twin doctors in Albany which suited us better as we had accommodation, family and friends to help us out if needed as well as our familiarity with the hospital as we had our daughter there four years prior.
Perth, on the other hand, would have made things a lot more complicated as we had no accommodation up there for the whole family.
So when the doctor said just prepare yourselves to go to "King Eddie" (King Edward Memorial Hospital), my heart sank, as knowing I was "geriatric" (at the age of 37) and having twins meant I was high risk.
This alone caused me to be quite anxious about the impending birth and where I would end up.
We had more scans than normal and we were lucky to have these in Katanning along with midwifery care when needed, however the majority of my appointments were in Albany with either the doctor, Albany hospital midwives, anaesthetists, surgeons etc.
This meant many trips south from Dumbleyung and, with COVID, I always had to have someone with me to care for my other children, as they weren't allowed in with me to most appointments.
I had to take my school-age child with me or find a babysitter as my husband is a full time employee with the local shire.
Due to all of that I was quite anxious at times throughout the pregnancy.
My mum was a wonderful support throughout all of those appointments and I feel lucky that she was close by.
I can only imagine how hard it would be for those with no family close by.
For my previous pregnancies we had a visiting midwife to the Dumbleyung Hospital and that service could not be faulted.
The midwives did all the checks and organised all the scans, results and appointments etc.
However we lost that service in approximately 2019.
I made it to 38 weeks with twin boys Logan and Malakai born and was able to birth via caesarean section in Albany which was a relief.
But we did have to be down there from 35 weeks, just in case, and I had quite a few appointments while there and, as I was nearing the end, I was getting more nervous, because I was away from all my familiarities.
The Albany Hospital is a fantastic hospital to have babies at and the midwives there were exceptionally caring and helpful.
I will be forever grateful to them for helping me, as my husband was only allowed in for limited visiting hours and the rest of my family were unable to visit at all.
The midwives pushed for me to be discharged after just two nights so that I could be with my family, but we did have to remain in Albany for a few nights for two midwife check ups before we were cleared to travel home.
Although two and a half hours doesn't seem a long distance, the logistics and financial burden can cause anxiety for women having to travel for the birth of a child (or two in my case).
Having more midwives regionally and, in our case, a visiting midwife service prior to the birth and also once we are home would be more than welcomed in small towns where services are diminishing constantly.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.