Rose

PAR27-Rose

Name: Rose
Age at interview: 38
Gender: Female

Background: Rose and her husband have two children, a daughter aged 8 and a son aged 3. They live in a regional city. Rose is a social worker and comes from Nigeria.

About Rose

When Rose and her husband had their first child in Europe, their parents stayed for an extended visit to help. But their parents could not come to Australia for their son's birth. Rose's husband took leave from work and was very helpful. Religion and new friends helped Rose to cope with missing her family back home.

More about Rose

Rose grew up in a big close-knit family in Nigeria. After she and her husband were married, they moved to Europe to work. Rose said they delayed having children for a couple of years because they were busy working and 'didn't have lots of supports.'

Rose said that she 'loved' her first pregnancy, despite having a 24-hour labour. Her mother and mother-in-law ('the grandmas') came to visit for four months and helped Rose look after her daughter. Although her husband worked full-time, he also helped out when he was at home. Rose said she was grateful for his 'abilities with babies.' About six months after the birth, Rose went back to work one day a week.

When their daughter was 4, Rose and her husband moved to Australia. Not long after arriving, they decided to have another baby. Rose's second pregnancy was 'a bit more difficult' than her first. This was because of suspected deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the hot weather, her concerns about being an 'older mum', and the realisation that they could not afford to sponsor their families to visit after the birth.

Rose's second baby was ten days overdue. As the 'waiting and waiting' went on, Rose described becoming increasingly emotional and anxious. The decision to induce the birth was also 'very scary' as she had heard induction was 'not fun'. Their families were concerned, but Rose said being able to talk and pray together over the phone helped.

Rose said that after she was induced and her contractions started, the pain was 'indescribable'. Although her labour lasted only five hours, she said it felt like 'five years' and was much more difficult than her first labour. She said she was 'relieved' and 'happy' when her son was born.

Because their families were unable to be there to help them, Rose said her husband took paternity and annual leave. Their baby was unsettled so there were 'lots of sleepless nights' and 'lots of work' but Rose said the experience brought she and her husband 'closer'.

Rose said that had she and her husband stayed in Nigeria, they would have had more support and more children. On the other hand, they were lucky to have experienced 'lots of connectedness' with new friends in Australia as well as through their church, and they now feel 'very settled' here.

Rose is looking forward to introducing her son to her family back home. She says that there were 'no surprises' when she became a parent and that it has made her feel 'complete'. She enjoys watching her children grow up and feels 'proud' of them. Her advice to expecting or new parents recently arrived in Australia is that 'there may not be family supports but the health system is quite good' and there are many services to help you.