“There can be such a thing as knowing too much,” Lorraine said, who works as a registered midwife at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital.
“The second I learnt I was pregnant, my mind started thinking about the work I do every day as a midwife, everything I had ahead of me and how I was going to birth the baby.
“The funny thing is, I overcame this fear by repeating the same thing I tell our women everyday – that women have been birthing babies for thousands of years and that if you need help it will be available for you in the birth suite.
“Throughout my pregnancy my life didn’t change that much and I adapted pretty easily, except for the fatigue that was a daily reminder of how hard my body was working to grow a little human.”
Even though Lorraine has assisted hundreds of women to birth their babies throughout her career, there were still some things that stood out to her throughout her own labour experience, including her birthing plan.
“I had so much planned for labour and none of it mattered once the time came,” she said.
“I thought I was so prepared and had seen so many women find great relief from a tens machine, but during my labour I didn’t get to utilise it the way I had hoped.
“I usually love water and touch and thought I would labour mostly in our bath, but then during labour I couldn’t settle in it and couldn’t cope with much massage either. I found that very surprising.
“The body just takes over and wants what it wants, so it is best to just relax and go with it.”
After giving birth to a healthy baby boy and experiencing the ‘other side’ of the birth suite, Lorraine has some advice for other expecting parents.
“I think a lot of mothers put pressure on themselves not to have an epidural because they think it’s showing weakness or an inability to cope,” she said.
“I was surprised at how much of a positive effect the epidural had on my labour as I felt really in control and aware of my body when it came time to push.
“It may not be for everyone but it’s a part of my labour story.
“I miss my bump even though I now have a beautiful baby – growing and birthing a baby is an amazing thing.”
International Day of the Midwife:
A note from Group Director Nursing and Patient Experience Dani Meinema:
Today, we not only reflect on and thank the excellent midwives we are fortunate enough to have as caregivers at St John of God Health Care, we also think of those who do not have ready access to the incredible support network midwives provide.
To all our midwives, you truly are wonderful and we thank you all for everything you do in promoting and providing safe and compassionate care.