Kylie is mum to Blake, 18 months. After a traumatic birth experience, she spent six weeks at a Mother and Baby Unit as she sought help to treat her postnatal depression.
It got to the point that I couldn’t be left alone with our baby because it was so overwhelming. I was so broken that even the slightest cry would see me fall apart. Motherhood was the first thing I’d really ever tried that I’d failed at. Usually if I try something and stick with it I can get it. But I just couldn’t figure this out. I had so much guilt about how I was feeling. Having friends who couldn’t have children I knew how lucky I was, yet I didn’t want to do it anymore.
(For more information about adjusting to parenthood click here.)
I had a fantastic maternal health nurse who never made me feel like I was being silly and supported me in seeking help through The Raphael Centre. With the help of my GP, The Raphael Centre was able to start my diagnosis and treatment for postnatal depression. But it wasn't enough. I needed daily support and to have someone there, living it with me.
Blake was three months old when we applied to get into Werribee Mother and Baby Unit and by the time a place was available he was just over four months. I was so lost when I arrived. I had nothing left. I just felt indifferent; numb. I just wanted them to fix my kid. I didn't look forward to anything except going to bed. I was not the person I was before having Blake.
When we arrived I thought there was no way I was going to be able to stay but by the end of the first week I never wanted to leave. There weren’t any televisions in the rooms, only birthing beds to sleep on and awful hospital food, but there were also midwives around the clock, other mums going through similar journeys and experienced mental health staff. It was a really uncomfortable experience but without it I don't know where we'd be. It saved us.