With 8 days until the end of our Save Babes Frankston campaign, one of our woman tells her story. Hear from Christina how vital The Babes Project was to her journey into motherhood.
Her unplanned pregnancy ended her relationship, but just weeks before her baby was due, Christina had nowhere to go but back to her ex.
“When I first found out I was pregnant, I’d planned to have the baby in Melbourne then move back to the United States and back with my family,” she explains.
“Instead the pandemic had hit, I’d been made redundant from my job, then eventually the aunty I was living with had issues with me.”
“I was still on the lease at the Mentone apartment I’d shared with my partner, and he definitely didn’t want me there, but it was my only option.”
It was at that point that Christina connected with The Babes Project in Frankston.
“I was at my wit’s end, but (Pregnancy Support Centre Manager) Emma at Frankston just gave me so much fresh air in those final weeks, chatting with her every week really helped me through the unknown.”
“Talking to Emma was one of the first positive conversation I’d had about the baby – and having been so isolated, I was going to a lot of worst-case scenarios in my head.”
“When you don’t know something and start looking online, Google is just like a black hole. Having a real person you can turn to who you trust, and who knows from experience, that makes a big difference.”
Babes Frankston is here for Christina, and for so many women doing it tough in pregnancy and early parenting.
Now, we need you to be here for her too.
Can you help us Save Babes Frankston?
Back in June, plans for a late baby shower after first lockdown had to be abandoned when Janelle suddenly appeared right on time.
“Emma dropped off the hospital bag to the hospital, which was so lucky – I didn’t have onesies, or baby socks, nothing!” she laughs.
She says Babes, along with her Maternal and Child Health Nurse, also helped her realise how bad her living situation was, and supported her to move out once lockdown lifted.
Christina still hopes to move back to the United States when borders reopen, after living in Australia since 2013. While she’s still in Melbourne, she says knowing Babes will continue to support her for the first year of her bub’s life is reassuring.
“Especially because of the pandemic, I do feel a lot of loss that I haven’t been able to celebrate her with people I care about, but Babes has celebrated her from the first appointment,” she said.
“It’s been tough, even just not expecting how difficult breastfeeding was going to be, or the whole hormonal shift, or the days I feel like a horrible mum with so much guilt and doubt.”
But Christina holds onto one piece of advice that Emma shared: “She said to me ‘there’s no way you can spoil your bub, you can’t love them too much’, and that really reassured me. You hear so many people say leave them be, they’ll sort themselves out – but I want to be there for her, what Emma said just made so much sense to me."
“It was so good to understand that parenting decisions I’ve made were right for me– even if other people disagree! - and the decisions I’m making all come from love.”
Christina has been able to plan for a brighter future, thanks to support from The Babes Project.
Our Save Babes Frankston appeal needs to raise over $100,000 by Mother’s Day, so women like Christina can access free perinatal support when they need it most, and thrive in motherhood.
The pandemic has dismantled so many of our fundraising streams - so we need you to help us.
When you visit our Save Babes Frankston page, you can register as a fundraiser - and ask your friends and family to support this cause too.
So please help keep our doors open, donate and be here for local families desperate to get the best start to raising their babies.
Donate and register to fundraise at Save Babes Frankston now, and please share the campaign as far and wide as you can.
All images by Miranda Mayle Photography.