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Lisa’s three-time motherhood journey with Frankston Hospital

Langwarrin Mum Lisa Schefman shares her experience of having her three children at Frankston Hospital.

I first began my motherhood journey with Frankston Hospital in 2010 when I signed up for shared care with my first pregnancy. This meant my antenatal care was shared between my GP and the midwives at Frankston Hospital. We joined pre-natal classes and toured the hospital Maternity Ward in the lead up to the birth. The pregnancy was a calm experience and I was able to go into labour in February 2011 with my first baby feeling calm and knowledgeable. It was also great to see one of the midwives I had seen while pregnant at the birth helping me through. At that time the Frankston Maternity Ward were building a new birthing suite and I got to use one of the new birthing rooms which had a bath. I’d hoped to have a water birth and the midwives did all they could to help that dream come true. However, unfortunately it was a very difficult birth and after 16 hours of labour, the position of the baby’s head meant I had to have an emergency caesarean. I didn’t at any stage feel scared though. The midwives were encouraging, positive and lovely, by my side helping me every step of the way. My little girl, Annabelle, was born a healthy 3.8kgs and her first four days were spent in a place where I felt safe. 

For my second pregnancy, in 2013, I revisited the shared care option at Frankston Hospital. Together the midwives, my GP, the obstetrician and I were confident with our decision to try for a natural birth. It was risky but I was given all the knowledge I needed to make this birth plan decision. 

By this stage the birthing suite was complete and quite impressive. Again the midwives were there to see me through the labour, their strength and support paramount, as I laboured for four hours before my wish for an epidural was granted at 7cms. Unfortunately when I reached 10cms my baby’s heart rate dropped and I was taken to theatre in preparation for another C-Section. However, while in theatre, the obstetrician gave me one more final attempt at a natural birth and a caesarean was avoided. My second daughter, Penelope, was born. 

Third time round and although we had private health cover, my decision was to return to Frankston Hospital and again experience shared care. This time, however, along with the nurturing support of the midwives, my GP and the obstetrician at Frankston, I decided to elect a caesarean. It was not an easy decision but one I made armed with a wealth of knowledge and eventually confidence. It was a decision we made for the whole family. The elective C-Section process was a very calm one; I was able to ask questions in the lead up and also on the day. Everything went to plan, including my special request to have the baby placed on my chest immediately after the birth if both the baby and I were in good health. My son, Jacob, my final child, was born in August this year. His birth was relaxed and once again I was so awe of the beautiful midwives for their patience, their kindness and their hardworking nature. I even tried to stay one more night than I needed just to continue receiving their care! The food is always pretty good too! 

With all three births at Frankston Hospital I couldn’t fault the diligence and care of the staff and their willingness to support all of my decisions before, during and after birth. Things may not have gone to plan each time, which is the beauty of child birth, but the support I received did go to plan and for that I am truly thankful.