12 August 1983

Joel in 2006 - Midway through walking the Bibbulmun Track (1000kms long)

In August 1983 I was living in Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. I was due to give birth to my third child on the 8th August. Fitzroy Crossing has limited medical facilities so I had to go to Derby (3 hours drive) four weeks prior  to the anticipated birth of my third child.

We had  a caravan, located in the yard belong to the joint Anglican/Uniting Church in Derby. The whole family came along for the experience! That included me, my husband and my two sons aged 3 1/2 and 7 years. A month seemed a very long time to spend in a caravan awaiting a baby’s arrival.

The due date came and went with nothing happening. The doctor decided on some inducement  and I went in to Derby Regional Hospital on Friday 12th August. Five hours after I checked in, Joel was born. He was a big, healthy baby. The midwife safely delivered him as the doctor didn’t make it in time.

We were actually allowed to check out on the Saturday and travel back to Fitzroy Crossing. I was keen to get back home as my Mum and Aunt were on their way to visit (a very long bus journey of about 4,000kms. We collected them from the bus and brought them home to rest up from their journey.

Unfortunately I wasn’t well and had to go back to the hospital. Joel and I went by plane this time and put back in hospital. I got better quickly but then Joel got sick – hospitals are good places to avoid wherever possible.

We stayed in hospital much longer than needed due to there being no transport to get us back to Fitzroy Crossing. The matron eventually drove us home later that week. By then it was nearly time for my Mum and Aunt to go back home again.

So now Joel is 28 years old, 6 feet 3 inches tall. I hope he is having a great birthday today. It just seems like yesterday!