“I ended up with a kind of childbirth that 100 years ago, or even 50 years ago, would’ve killed me and the baby, and that knowledge haunted me.”
For singer Kate Miller-Heidke, giving birth to her first son was far from seamless. But it was the months following that plunged her into darkness, feeling like a failure of a mother, riddled with self-doubt and neurosis.
On Monday night’s Australian Story, the Eurovision contestant spoke about her difficult pregnancy, and a side of motherhood rarely discussed so candidly; post-natal depression.
“He was never going to make it through because he was too big, so I had to go in and have an emergency caesarean,” she recalled of her delivery on the ABC program.
"They pulled Ernie out, he was a big baby, he was over 10 pounds and he was purple. I thought he was stillborn. He traced for a blood infection and went straight into the ICU for five days."
When she and her musician husband Keir Nuttall took a healthy Ernie home, the realities of motherhood began to sink in, and Kate was terrified.
"I did find myself struggling with just, you know, the basics of how to feed him, how to change him," the 37-year-old said.