Beatriz describes life in Chile, close to her family and working as a sociologist for six years, as fun. But all at once, she found herself in the midst of a global pandemic, in a new country, and pregnant.
“It was crazy… to live a pregnancy in an unknown country and a world where [nothing] was working. I didn’t know anyone to ask for advice. If I was sad, I didn’t have anybody to talk with.”
“At the end of my pregnancy I got the news that my baby was at risk and I was hospitalised a week before Luna was born. I didn’t know how to speak in English and my partner was allowed to visit me just once a day… that was very difficult for me.”
Not only was Beatriz “alone with no English”, but she didn’t feel prepared to have a baby, she didn’t have anyone to support her, and she didn’t know how to navigate Australian systems.
“I didn’t know a thing about anything in this country. In Chile I knew lots of programs that help the community because I used to work on those.”
In her last ultrasound appointment, Beatriz looked for flyers in the waiting room and took them home.
“At home… I did an email template which I translated with Google translate and sent it to all of the organisations… I did everything I could to get support as at that stage I was very nervous.”
“Babes was the first one to come back to me.”
Before meeting her baby, Beatriz felt “very nervous”. Now, she smiles remembering the moment she met Luna.
“When I saw her it was very exciting. When I saw her face, her little hands… I don’t know… I felt relieved to meet her.”
“I felt happiness and nervousness at the same time, as that is the moment when motherhood starts.”
“Motherhood is an adventure that is different every day and has different dimensions, as on one side is the obvious that is the new baby and her world, and on the other side there is us as women.”
“The relationship with our partner changes, the relationship with the world changes, as we don’t see things as we used to.”
“We need to feel supported, understood, have someone who listen to us and more in difficult situations. With The Babes Project I felt that in this country there was someone who cares about me. Having someone who worries about you is very meaningful.”
“Babes helped me to get ready for Luna’s birth. They told me what to get to the hospital, what to take into account, what was normal and what was not… I don’t have my mom here or anyone that is close to me so their help was very important for me.”
Having Luna made Beatriz confident, and trusting in herself.
“I feel I have done a good job… I have been capable of making her grow. I have never felt so useful in my life as I feel now being a mom.”
“Luna is the reason of my life.”
The Babes Project stands by women as they become mothers.
Now we’re asking you to stand by them with us.
Can you help save Babes Frankston?
All images by Miranda Mayle Photography.