Being a pregnant woman, my ears pricked up when I heard birthing services at Wollongong Hospital were getting a $2.2 million major transformation.
A thousand questions suddenly popped into my head.
Will it affect me? Will there be tradesman stepping around me as I push out a human? Will I still be able to have the birth plan I wanted? Will there be less staff? What if I go into labour and they don't have room for me because the inn is full?
Considering around 2,800 babies are born at our public hospital each year, I figured many others would be interested too.
On Friday, I was able to take a tour of the temporary birthing unit - the former Intensive Care Unit - which is to be utilised for several months while the current one gets made over.
Maternity Services operations manager Barb Atkins said the current birth unit (not to be confused with the maternity ward, the place you go to after you push that baby out) was in desperate need of work.
"There hasn't been anything done for 21 years in the current birthing services and in that time we've probably birthed about 40,000 babies," she said.
Ms Atkins expected the multimillion-dollar upgrades to commence late January, with all equipment and staff decanting around the corner on level 2.
"This is an ideal location because it's close to our theatre and it's close to our neonatal unit as well, pretty much a wee bit further from the current ward," Ms Atkins said.
They're still working out the exact time-frame for refurbishment but anticipate the upgrades to be complete by mid-2020.
The start of the year was chosen because it is a quieter time for the unit, meaning less women would be impacted, as well as availability of contractors. September is usually the busiest time for births with an influx of Christmas and New Year's conceptions.
"We'll collect our data of the women who will be birthing in the time frame that will be impacted by this change and give them very timely notice of when the changes will occur," Ms Atkins said.
Midwifery Unit manager Karen Atkin said the number of birth suites would remain the same throughout - that is, seven birthing suites in the unit.
She said as most were in use for between four and 12 hours before mothers went off to the maternity ward, no woman would be left uncomfortable.
"There are times that we do have more women than we have space for so it's just good communication between the different wards about how we utilise patient flow," she said.
WILL THE INTERIM UNIT BE THE SAME?
Currently there are seven birthing suites in the unit, which will not change throughout the process. What will change is the size of rooms and what's available.
The temporary suites will be slightly smaller and not all will have ensuites, while none will have baths. All birthing aids like fitballs and birth stools would still be made available.
Rooms in the newly refurbished suites will have baths, more modern and functional, but won't be ready until mid-2020.
"Water immersion is certainly something that we use a lot for active birth and pain relief," said Midwifery Unit Manager Karen Atkin.
"The amount of women who actually birth in water is quite minimal, around 10 per cent."
Maternity Unit operations manager Barb Atkins said there would still be showers, however not in every room.
"We will still be able to support them during active labour, we'll have birth props and we do have showers they will be able to use and not all women choose to use baths," Ms Atkins said.
"We do have a limited amount of shower space, but with the new design we will be increasing the number of baths which we do have."
The number of birth suites will remain the same throughout while the same staff and doctors will also be available in both the temporary and refurbished units.
Money used to transform the old ICU was not taken out of the $2.2 million promised for the birthing unit major upgrades. While the interim space will again be transformed into a permanent an orthopaedic and fracture clinic.