IT was a fitting farewell to Mercy Health’s parents and babies unit from Albury yesterday.
A room in the Poole Street building was filled with the chatter, and gurgles, of about 100 parents and their babies.
Some had come through the door with dark circles under their eyes after sleepness nights, others had trouble feeding their newborns and some had suffered post-natal depression.
But all were helped.
Sharyn Star walked in 20 years ago with her twin daughters Matilda and Molly and was suffering post-natal depression.
“I’m a bit teary today actually. It brings back so many memories,” Ms Star said.
“I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for Faye and now my daughter Matilda and her little fellow Oliver come here.”
The Faye, Ms Star refers to, is Faye McDonald, who was the unit’s manager when it opened on October 10, 1983.
It’s a day Mrs McDonald remembers clearly.
“Mothers were slow in coming in the first week but the next week we were inundated,” she said.
“I saw 9000 mothers and babies and we hope we helped them all.”
Mother of six Brenda Whichelo has been going to the unit for the past six weeks, and will continue using the service after it transfers to Wodonga on Monday.
Ms Whichelo suffered post-natal depression after the birth of five-month-old Evie.
“I was getting frustrated and agitated with the kids and just wanting to go bed and cry,” she said.
“I come every Tuesday and it just gets me out of the house as well. It’s my release for the day.”
Mercy Health director of nursing Chris Arnold said it was a day of mixed emotions.
“Today signifies the last link of nearly 60 years of providing maternal services to Albury-Wodonga,” Ms Arnold said.
“I’m pleased the parents and babies services’ foundations we developed at Mercy Health will continue at Albury Wodonga Health.”
The unit will open at Wodonga hospital on Tuesday.