Story told by Merrilyn McIver.
I moved up here in 1970. When I first came up here in about 1967, there was about eight or nine thousand people so it was totally different. There was no television, it was very social.
In the labour ward we had a table with stirrups. You had a long bed and the back raised up if you wanted to sit up. We were encouraged to sit up. When we got near to the baby being born it was a case of the bed dropped down and you had your legs up in stirrups with a sheet over you and everyone kept peering at you and waiting for the moment. That’s about all I can remember really!
We didn’t have family here. That was probably the biggest thing we all noticed – we didn’t have family, well very few of us. And so we relied on each other for that support. It makes you more resilient.
As far as I’m concerned Alice Springs was the best place to bring my kids up. I notice with my children, my son is nearly 41 and he still meets up with his Alice Springs mates no matter where they are. And I envy that. Small town friends, it’s great.
To listen to audio click ‘play’ above.
The Alice Birth Project is written and produced by Nicole Lee.