My name is Michelle and when I was 16 weeks pregnant I became homeless. I was staying with my boyfriend’s family, but they were not happy about the pregnancy. In the end things got so bad that they told me to leave. Around the same time my cousin, who worked at MAC Inc., referred me to ‘Bumps to Babes & Beyond’ and MAC Maternity Services.
For about two months, I slept on a friend’s couch, it was a tough time for me, being pregnant and homeless, and this was not the kind of life I had planned for my baby. As a kid, I spent lots of time in foster care, and I wanted my baby to have a safe and secure home, which is not something I can ever remember having myself. Because I do not have much family support, my mum has her own issues and my dad lives 700 km away, I really relied on the support that I got from ‘Bumps to Babes & Beyond’.
The ‘Bumps to Babes & Beyond’ coordinator not only helped me to find housing, but she also helped me keep my head straight. There were times that I really thought I was going to lose it, looking for housing was really stressful, but having someone there who could help me figure things out and also to understand what effect getting upset might have on the baby was so great. When I was 35 weeks pregnant I managed to find a unit for rent through the private rental market, it’s not that flash but it means that I can start to get a rental track record and hopefully I can move to something better in the next year or so.
It was great to be able to get set up for the baby, which I could not do when I was staying at my friend’s house. When my baby, Richard, was born I relied on the ‘Bumps to Babes & Beyond’ a lot. It was so hard in the first few weeks until I got the hang of things. Richard is now 10 weeks old and things are going well. I’m breastfeeding which I’m really proud of. I’m living in my own house and I have lots of plans for the future. I still need support though, but not so much, so I just check in with ‘Bumps to Babes & Beyond’ when I need to, and go to the group sessions too. I’ve met some other mums and it’s awesome meeting people who understand what it’s like to be young and a mum. I would recommend ‘Bumps to Babes & Beyond’ to anyone who needs a bit of support. I’m, so glad my cousin recommended it; I could not have done without it!
(NB. names changed at authors request)