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"Maybe I am a monster." My life was perfect. Having a fourth child changed everything.

Warning: This post deals with post-natal depression and might be triggering for some readers. 

I was 29. Married. With three children and a husband due to have his vasectomy in 14 sleeps. 

Not that I was counting or anything. 

I was a Lady Start Up. I had purchased my first new car. One that could fit all three offspring in the back snuggly. One that did not give away my ‘breeder’ status. 

I was sculling green smoothies. I had abs. Actual abs. I wore crop tops and blushed when people told me how amazing it was that I could have this body after having three kids. 

And then I got sick. 

At first, I assumed it was because of the burritos we had ingested the night before. I had been gluten free for a while. One does not maintain abs by eating such gooey mess. One has things that are green. And steamed. Or both. 

So, I hoped it was a cheese, cream, wheat combination reaction. And not the morning sickness that was completely recognisable to me.

I didn’t have to wait for the two blue lines when I peed on the stick. They appeared before I had even wiped. 

Still, I remained in my precarious puddle of denial and convinced myself, and my husband that it was a false positive. I’d do another one in the morning. Again, with the two blue lines. I sent him out for a different brand of test. And the lines kept coming, in pairs, that where blue. 

I was up the stick. Morning sick. And I did not want to be.

Cue the conversations. My husband fully supported either me. “Whatever you want to do babe.” So I talked to my bestie.  

A continent away, I voice messaged her. I listed all the reasons I shouldn’t keep the fetus. My new studio. My new car. My abs. She replied immediately. She agreed. Get rid of it. And then I knew I couldn’t.  

I had to keep it. I was in a stable relationship, with a roof over my head and food in the fridge. I couldn't terminate this pregnancy.

And so, with my husband’s either way support, my head in a bucket, and a heavy sigh, I decided to keep the baby.

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First I lost my abs. I gained 28 kilos. I dove headfirst into the ice-cream. It’s the easiest thing to vomit.  

I had hyperemesis. Princess Kate wasn’t around then. People thought it was my inability to handle the morning sickness. But I tore the cartilage between my ribs. 

Then I lost my studio. I couldn’t juggle the three humans, the Lady Start Up and the hyperemesis.  

I was an ice-cream recycling, iron deficient, tired to my bones human with a displaced pelvis and I have no fecks to give. So I closed it.  

And then I lost my car. Or rather, I gained a van. A huge van. A van that does not fit in most parking bays but does fit four humans. And a driver. Me.

The baby was born, quickly. 

With three kids in the car, I asked my husband to turn up the music so I could scream through the contractions without scaring the kids.  

40 minutes after we arrived at the hospital he was in my arms. Crying. He slept the whole day. And he woke up screeching every hour that night.  

Something that he would continue to do for the next 18 months. I cried with him. But then I stopped. I didn’t even have the energy for tears. I was postnatally depressed.  

I didn’t realise I was until I tried to drive the van into a tree but stopped because one of my other kids told me from the back seat that he was thirsty.  

I thought I should probably wait until their dad gets home. And then I thought, I should tell someone. Like a doctor. And I did. I got help.

My life changed with those blue lines.  

It’s been hard. And I don’t think I’m allowed to say that. I think I am supposed to say things like “I love my baby so much, and I wouldn’t have it any other way”.  

Except, maybe I would.  

Maybe I am a monster.

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, contact PANDA – Post and Antenatal Depression Association. You can find their website here or call their helpline – 1300 726 306.

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