Meet the Midwife at Calvary Riverina Hospital

For International Day of the Midwife, we’re taking the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the incredible work of our midwives, and how they are able to support parents before, during, and after the birth of their new babies.

We’re introducing you to some members of Calvary Riverina Hospital‘s St Gerard’s Ward where they tell you why they became a midwife, why they love their jobs, and what their favourite memory as a midwife is.

Meet the Midwives

Kate Nicholas

Why did you want to become a midwife?

I always wanted to become a midwife, but I did nursing first. After three years of working as a nurse and consolidating my skills, I weighed up the pros and cons of what I was doing, and midwifery had a lot of pros. It wasn’t long after I made the transition. I’ve been a midwife for about 20 years.

What’s your favourite thing about being a midwife?

I think as a midwife we’re in a really unique position to be alongside women and their families during an extremely special time in their lives. It’s not something that someone goes through every day so to be able to support them and make it the best experience it can be is very rewarding.

What’s your favourite memory as a midwife?

My favourite memory has to be the very first birth that I was present. My training involved a mixture of community midwifery and hospital-based midwifery, so the first birth I saw was actually a home birth. I got to know the woman during her pregnancy. She had a really beautiful labour and a really beautiful birth. It was the perfect introduction to midwifery.

Karen Freemantle

Why did you want to become a midwife?

I fell in love with being around mums and new bubs all the time. Birthing is the most amazing thing you can witness. I just love being a midwife.

What’s your favourite thing about being a midwife?

Meeting incredible women, watching them have their babies and their transition into becoming a parent is my favourite part of being a midwife. It’s beautiful to see the emotions that are stirred up during labour and being there to support a mother while they’re giving birth.

Tell us about your experience with the birthing classes.

I am normally one of the first faces parents see when they come to Calvary Riverina Hospital on the obstetrics side of things. I book all of the women into the hospital for their birth. If they are first-time parents we also offer them antenatal classes, which I am lucky enough to run. It is a privilege to follow them on their journey, from the first classes to when they give birth and also providing support over the first couple of weeks and months of their baby’s life.

What’s your favourite memory as a midwife?

It’s tough to name just one but it has to be one of my recent births, which was a beautiful experience. The birth was gorgeous, uncomplicated and straightforward, and the mother had complete control over the birth.

Maddie Murtagh

Why did you want to become a midwife?

I was working in the theatres at Calvary Riverina and was able to gain experience with caesareans. One of the obstetricians asked if I’d ever considered becoming midwife. I jumped at the opportunity and applied. I love being a midwife and have no regrets.

What’s your favourite thing about being a midwife?

Obviously the babies, but I also love the environment we work in. People are coming into the hospital not because they’re sick, but because they’re excited about welcoming a new life into the world.

What’s your favourite memory as a midwife?

My favourite memory would have to be my first birth as a midwife. Everything went really well and there were no complications. Mum, dad and baby actually popped by recently to visit the maternity unit, and it was really amazing to see how well they’re all doing.

Vicky Fayle

Why did you want to become a midwife?

I’ve wanted to be a midwife since the age of 11 when I helped my dog deliver her puppies. My mum and I had the vet on the phone talking us through the delivery. One of the puppies actually became stuck so I helped deliver the breached puppy to save it and the puppy after that one as well. Afterwards, I felt so happy about what I had achieved that I said to Mum I wanted to deliver real babies when I was older.

What’s your favourite thing about being a midwife?

I love everything about being a midwife, especially the moment when a baby is first born. You get to see the how the parents’ faces instantly fill with love and excitement.

What’s your favourite memory as a midwife?

Many years ago, I was looking after a couple who were having their first baby. I made such a strong connection with them. Once the mum had given birth, everyone was crying, including myself. It was an amazing feeling. I discovered afterwards that the father of the baby was the son of one of my colleagues, which was really nice. It’s been seven years and I’m still in touch with them all.

 

Erika Foote

Why did you want to become a midwife?

I always wanted to become a midwife, but I studied nursing first. Once I found my feet, I thought it was the right decision to make the transition. I love caring and supporting women through their entire pregnancy journeys.

What’s your favourite thing about being a midwife?

I think my favourite part is when the parents find out the gender of their babies. It makes me well up, especially if they’re finding out at the time of the birth. It’s a really beautiful to be a part of that moment.

What’s your favourite memory as a midwife?

I’ve only been in midwifery for a year, but I would say my favourite part of the job is the amount of support I’ve had from senior staff. They’re always eager to hear how many babies I’ve helped deliver and I can tell they’re happy to have me as part of the team. It is a really nice feeling at Calvary Riverina.