A Travellerspoint blog

Port Hedland and back to Melbourne

Red dirt, rural midwifery and a bit of reflection

semi-overcast 22 °C


Well so I last left when it was nearly Halloween and it was just a mild 36 degrees outside. Well it picked up a bit to a balmy 43 degrees, playing it cool obviously pretending it didn’t bother me, wouldn’t want to be one of those whingeing poms who bangs on about the weather all the time! It was hot, really bloody hot! The only time it severely bothered me is when I moved into my friends house to house sit for two weeks while she was away and thought the aircon had broken. Me and god had a good chat that afternoon, something along the lines of please please if you help me figure out how to fix this I promise ill always do good things. The big mans telepathic advice came through and i've done many a good deeds since! Fixing it turned out to be actually pretty easy not a single tool involved when I resorted to the trusty on/off switch outside next to the fan….click off…click back on…….done!

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So in the last weeks of Port Hedland I house sat for my friend at her house, which was really handy, near to work and nice to have your own house, plus the use of her car. People in the outback are much more chilled about giving out their stuff everyone drives each other’s cars and lets people stay in their houses etc. I like this attitude, much more selfless than peoples ‘everyman for himself’ attitude that I sometimes came across in the places like London. I’ve also become accustomed to driving with no shoes on or actually wearing shoes much in general this county vibe is rubbing off on me too much. God help me when I have to wear heels or jeans!

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This is my first attempt at aboriginal art by the way! I'm pleased!

So we had a real quiet patch at work without many births but it must have been the calm before the storm because I came off working nights and went onto days a cyclone of births hit the unit! We were so busy we had to deliver one very understanding woman in a side room in the ward. Now don’t freak out, I’ve delivered babies in the shower, on a kitchen floor, under water and in a hallway before so its really not that much of a worry. Babies can come out anywhere and safety is never compromised! One afternoon three women all delivered around about the same time and with two midwives per shift that’s not enough hands per birth, luckily for the Pilbara women the midwives who work here are exceptional and in that week everyone pulled together, came in early, stayed late and used their heads to make sure the proverbial poop didn’t hit the fan too much. This included me, who was about to go home when one woman labouring in the bath wanted to get out for some pain relief. With everyone’s hands tied I helped her out of the bath on my way towards the exit but it turns out I wasn’t about to be going anywhere. With a few specific huffs, puffs and grunts which any midwives finely tuned ears would know meant this baby is well on its way. My bag stayed on the floor, on went my gloves and 15 minutes later one little boy was born…actually 4.3kg not so little! It was a really exciting week and tested everyone’s organisation skills and commitment. Its places like this that need people with commitment and the attitude that its ‘not just a job’ when you pull a 12 hour day without a blink of an eyelid because people need you. I’m glad that last week at work was busy I love the action and the decision-making. Everyone’s teamwork was amazing that week, I love this maternity unit anyway but its things like this that remind me why I really love being a midwife and I constantly think I’m so lucky that I get to do this for my job!

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Luckily I hadn’t booked my flight until the following Monday when my contract was finishing on the Friday. It gave me enough time to get my head back together, sort myself out ready to head back to Melbs and say some goodbyes or see you soon’s to some important people!
Originally I was going to travel to the East coast to see my friends Claire and Falloni but it turns out they came for an impromptu visit to Port Hedland anyway after deciding to drive the West Coast. So I got my tourist hat on and showed the round Port Hedland for 24 hours. We were surprisingly sensible and had a nice dinner with just a few beers all of us knowing we had plans the next day that were non negotiable for a hangover! I
I do however really want to come back for a holiday and do the West Coast of Australia and drive up to Coral Bay like I had planned to do however this time ill make sure its whale shark season. I’m also mega keen to camp; I have no idea why i'm so keen to go camping maybe something to do with getting out to nature. Lets see if i'm still as keen when I actually do it!

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After four months my experience here was over, it was hands down the best decision I have made to come here and do this. It helped me get my focus back and just chill in a place where there was no pressure to keep up with the Jones’s. It helped me learn about different cultures, meet different people from round Australia, get to know real Australia and live in a place that was essentially a mound of red dirt swarming with Tradies. Ive loved everything from feral nights out at the finny, fishing at Finny island, swimming at pretty pools, horse racing, catching stray frogs at work and local markets and festivals galore. The midwifery was outstanding and it’s given my practice a massive boost. I’ve learn a lot about what I want and what makes me happy and it actually wasn’t what I thought did when I left England. A lot of people come to away to these rural towns to make money but I think somehow it did a lot more me. It’s given me a different outlook and i've walked away with a few new thoughts about how I want to live my life. I've also been lucky to meet some incredible people, everyone from inspiring midwives from around the world with their stories, local hedlanders and their view on rural life and aboriginal women who even taught me how to good Kangaroo and bush Turkey in a ground!
But next it was time to put my shoes back on and got packed ready to head back to the city.

On a separate note- Michelle I feel like I've semi completed some of my list you set for me:
Flying Doctors - I couldn't get in the plane I have however met a few flying doctor nurses and a pilot?!
First name terms with the coffee lady - I sent a coffee back so I don't think she wants to know my name now!
Serenaded by a miner - many and on most nights out, it's really not hard here!
Worn a flanny - ah yeh g'day mate



If i'm honest I was a bit nervous about going back to Melbourne as much as I had a great time there for the majority of it, there were a few bad memories and also I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about being back in the city. Luckily I got over myself and actually everything is fine! First stop was a mega coffee, as Port Hedland isn’t exactly teaming with decent coffee and award winning restaurants. My first things to do on the list were have a decent coffee and track down some Mexican food, I can cook but I just can’t make Mexican food as good. There are a lot of people I really want to spend time with so two days in now i'm very happy in Melbourne. My lovely friends have put me up in their spare room, which is amazing and very kind of them especially as they live in St Kilda so its nice and near to where I used to live and local haunts plus it means I get to spend maximum time with them. The last two days i've chilled caught up on things, ran and cycled along the beach, drank coffee generally just had a lovely relaxed time.

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The weekend however might be a different story. Mexican food planned at the ultimate place Radio Mexico restaurant, Fancy Hanks BBQ with Alex for some mean ribs and probably a few drinks along the way lets face it. I love having no major plans for this week and to able to just do whatever I want……bliss! It feels like you used to when you were on school holidays at your nans and you watched saved by the bell in your pyjamas until midday, had two different breakfasts then just went over the park!

However, I better not relax too much ill have nothing to write about next!
So ill get up to some mischief and fill you all in next week after my week in Melbourne.

Big Love
Laura x

Oh and it's raining in Melbourne......I haven't seen a drop of rain in 4 months! It smells amazing! I reckon the novelty will wear off though pretty quickly!

Posted by Halgerty12 14:24 Archived in Australia

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