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“I moved out west to be a mining WAG!”

rural australiaThere’s nothing like laying in the sun daydreaming, only to be rudely brought back to reality by having to swat the flies buzzing around my legs.

Yes, long gone are the days of lying on the soft white sand, listening to the waves crashing while I read a book. Now my “local beach” is a patch of concrete overlooking a 50m pool, or a corrugated iron fence. How times can change in only a matter of nine months. Oh, and I forgot to mention the pram by my side, with a sometimes-sleeping baby in it.

Let’s start from the beginning …

My husband and I were at our first hospital appointment when we both looked at each other and pretty much said at the same time: “Let’s have Chad out west”. We had planned to have our little mate surrounded by our family and friends and then make the trek west. However, we had a bad experience at the hospital, as well as with our doctor (I won’t go into detail) and neither of us was happy with the service we were getting.

So, at 34 weeks, we had the container packed and were on our way west. I had booked an appointment with the midwife the first week we moved out here. After the appointment it was the most relaxed I had felt throughout the whole pregnancy, when it came to the doctors and hospitals. Even after I was told that if we were to go into labour over a weekend we would have to drive an hour to the next town to give birth as they don’t have doctors to cover.

As it happened we went into labour early on Sunday morning, there were no doctors on until Monday, so we were sent to the next town. We had more than enough time; I found out I am a princess when it comes to pain. I was still in the very early stages of labour when we arrived at the hospital (I hadn’t dilated at all, but my contractions were consistent), they let us stay in a room and get settled until it was time to move to the birthing suite. We were so shocked that we got to stay in a room and not get sent away as I had read in all my baby magazines how women were sent home until they were at least 7cm dilated etc.

We ended up having little Chad the following Monday morning at 1.26am. It was a mentally draining birth as it was so long, but I would do it all over again. Nothing can describe the emotions you get when you hold your bubba for the first time. And seeing my husband hold him, just brought tears to my eyes.

We had our families come out and visit the weekend after Chad was born which was nice as my parents helped out my husband a lot to give him a break from looking after me as I had quite a few stitches and wasn’t very mobile.

Looking back on the whole time I will be doing the country experience again. I think that it has to do with the personal treatment that you are given out here. We had the local midwife in town come and check on us the first week we were home. This was not only helpful, in the sense that it was reassuring we were on the right track with Chad, but it gave us a sense of the community these small towns have, I can’t explain how grateful I was for this, as neither of us have any family out here.

Moving four and a half hours away from friends and family has really made me come out of my comfort zone. I was once a shy person who found it hard to meet new people, but it is different out here. The majority of the women are in the same boat. I like to think of us as the WAGS (with bubs) of the mining industry. Like the men, we do it tough(er) even though they think it’s all mothers’ groups, coffee and Days of our Lives. Granted there is a mothers’ group on every day of the week out here, which is great. If you seem to be having one of “those days” you know that you are able to go to one of these groups put bub down for a play or just get some “adult” contact during the day. The men out here work long hours, 13 hours is a short day for my husband. It can get rather lonely if you don’t have your little outing to look forward to. I have made friends for a lifetime out here, I think it helps that we have all had to get out of our comfort zone to meet one another.

I would love to hear about how other wags handled moving away from family and friends, do you have any mothers’ group organised that you are to attend. Has anyone made the move before your bubba was born so that you could get settled in your new town? Was your birth a positive experience like mine? I must say that I am so GRATEFUL that I did get sent to the next town as where we are they don’t do epidurals, after being in labour for 15 hours I wouldn’t have been able to handle the final 10 hours of my labour without one!

Image credit: petervick167 / 123RF Stock Photo

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