This post deals with miscarriage and PND, and might be triggering for some readers.
Eighteen months after the birth of her daughter Frankie, Kate Brow still finds that a certain smell or sound can take her straight back to that traumatic time.
“Every time I smell bushfire smoke I get really triggered,” Brow tells Mamamia.
“Every time I hear ambulance sirens I get triggered. I think I’ve processed it much better through telling my story and sharing my story but I still find these sensory things quite triggering.”
Watch: Questions About Childbirth, answered. Post continues below.
Even before Frankie was born, Brow had been through a lot. She had a “really wonderful” experience with the birth of her first daughter, Harriette, but that was followed by a difficult 12 months.
“She was a terrible breastfeeder,” Brow remembers. “I felt like I was failing the whole time.”
Brow told her GP how she was feeling.
“She said to me, ‘You don’t even have depression. You’ve just got a really difficult baby.’”
After the first year, things improved. Brow and her husband John started to think about having another baby and she fell pregnant again. But this pregnancy felt different.
“I had quite bad cramping,” Brow says. “I just felt funny about it.”
At eight or nine weeks, Brow suffered a miscarriage.
“I think I spent a full week on the couch with the worst headaches I’ve ever had. It was quite traumatic. I didn’t really want to tell work, so it felt like I was shouldering it all by myself. But I was also trying to wrap it up into, ‘Well, it mustn’t have been the right timing and there must have been something wrong, so it’s okay.’ All those kinds of clichés.”
A few months later, Brow fell pregnant again. Halfway through the pregnancy, worried that she hadn’t dealt with her miscarriage very well, she started seeing a counsellor through her workplace.