My guest this week is Sarah Hens, Sarah is a blogger from the Blue Mountains in NSW Australia, and a mum of 1.
Following a pregnancy that almost claimed her life, Sarah was compelled to record her own experience with preeclampsia, eclampsia and birth trauma . She used wriiting as a way to not only record what happened so she wouldn't forget (at times being in the ICU and coming in and out of consciousness), but to work through her experience and to make sense of it. Initially Sarah's words were only for herself, and she didn't expect to share it, however as time went on, she found that through sharing her own experience she could help others, and particularly share a voice in Australia. She also shares other's through her blog The Pesky Placenta Society.
***Please be aware this episode conains a lot of discussion around pregnancy and birth trauma, perinatal trauma, PND, PTSD and a near death medical episode***
If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here
Music used with permission from Alemjo my new age and ambient music trio.
When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.
Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast
I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!
Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.
Welcome to the Art of Being a mum podcast, where I Alison Newman, a singer songwriter, and Ozzy mum of two enjoys honest and inspiring conversations with artists and creators about the joys and issues they've encountered. While trying to be a mum and continue to create. You'll hear themes like the mental juggle, changes in identity, how their work has been influenced by motherhood, mum guilt, cultural norms, and we also stray into territory such as the patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the shownotes along with a link to the music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our supportive and lively community on Instagram. I'll always put a trigger warning if we discuss sensitive topics on the podcast. But if at any time you're concerned about your mental health, I urge you to talk to those around you reach out to health professionals, or seek out resources online, I've compiled a list of international resources which can be accessed on the podcast landing page, Alison Newman dotnet slash podcast, the art of being a mom we'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and water, which this podcast is recorded on as being the Bondic people in the barren region of South Australia. I'm working on land that was never seen it. And welcome to the podcast. It's so lovely to have you here for wherever you are around the world. Want to take this opportunity to remind you to subscribe to my weekly email. You'll be the first to hear about the upcoming episodes, who's on next week, and some other little gifts and discounts and other things that I'd like to share. Just head to the webpage Alison newman.net/podcast and you'll scroll down and see the signup sheet. This week. My guest is Sarah hens. Sarah is a blogger from the Blue Mountains in Sydney, New South Wales, and she's a mom of one. Sarah has a background as a social worker and has spent many years working in the department for Child Protection. Following a pregnancy that almost claimed her life Sara was compelled to record her own experiences with preeclampsia, preeclampsia and a tremendous birth trauma. She used her writing as a way to not only record what happened so she wouldn't forget at times being in the ICU and coming in and out of consciousness, but to work through her experience and to make sense of it. Initially, Sarah's words were only meant for herself. She didn't expect to share it. However, as time went on, she found that through sharing her own experience, she could help others and particularly share a voice from Australia. She also now shares other's stories through her blog that pesky placenta society. Please be aware this episode is quite full on. It does contain a lot of discussion around pregnancy and birth trauma, perinatal trauma, postnatal depression, PTSD, and a near death medical experience. I really appreciate Sara's openness and honesty in sharing in today's episode. Thanks so much for coming on. Sarah. It's lovely to meet you today.
Thanks for having me.
That's absolute pleasure. And I I have heard that this is your first podcast so it's exciting to have you all. Oh, don't be nervous. We just pretend it's you and me. We're just having a fun chat. With like literally 1000s of people listening. Not that many maybe. So good. So good fun. So we're about to finish Australia.
I am on Derek country in the Blue Mountains in South Wales
yes. It's very lovely. I've been from Derek country my whole life so I was on a different different part in the Hawkesbury in the mountains gal.
Beautiful I've never been a bit I've seen plenty of photos and yeah you neither is it the three sisters
and we've got 45 minutes from there so I'm not going to lower like pretty much the first bit of the ego call Mountain is where it is and then there's lots more mountain often Yeah, right
i Oh awesome. Oh lovely. That sounds like a nice place to live. So are you a fairway from Sydney? Where you are then? All the closer Yeah. Oh, that's good. Yeah. Do you go into Sydney much you have to go in?
Often I was it was weird. So obviously with COVID we're all stuck you know for ages but I went to the opera house for two different shows like three weeks taught and I haven't been there for so long. I went there twice in one month so that was pretty good. I do love a city day because I don't really there I find the city very interesting and like you
Yeah, I couldn't imagine living in a city. I mean, I've I mean Adelaide and and if you've ever been to Adelaide, but that's not exactly a proper city. It's like a bit country town. Basically, everyone chases Adelaide because it's yeah, it's easy to drive in. So it's not really a city.
Fucking like a map of Sydney. No one knew literally, was the first place that any one job like anything. Yeah,
yeah, they weren't, weren't considering the future when they made Sydney. Really were they, too but yeah, that's nice for a visit. I haven't been there for a long time. But yeah, nice for trip. But I would hate to live in a place like that. I just, it's not my thing. I like a bit of space around me. Yeah. Yeah.
Ah, so you by trade, a social worker? When did you first get into that sort of thing? Was it something you're always interested in? Being when you're growing up?
Not professionally, I think I have been like a little social worker from the beginning. My mom actually said years like after I decided to actually study it. She was like, I knew you were going to be that because I was just always that person that like the kids at school that are having my mom and dad were having issues or, you know, they'd always come and find me and like be crying in the bathroom. So via without me for a long time, but actually going into it because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was never one of those people that was like, Yes, I'm going to be a doctor or a teacher. And then I remember when I was looking at different degrees, I thought, Okay, this sounds pretty broad. Like, I feel like I could make this work in lots of different areas. And then as I did my best placement was with in child protection. And I love that, which sounds weird, because it doesn't sound like a sort of job you should love.
You know, actually, I can relate to that, because I work on the other side of it in early childhood education. Yeah, I have actually great admiration for what you guys do on the other side, I could definitely not do it myself. So yeah.
It's definitely a job that makes or breaks you for sure. Sometimes you're not really sure where it's going. But I did my placement there. Did another placement overseas. And I thought, yeah, this is a job that I want to do. So I was there for nearly six years before I went on that week. Actually resigned my position a couple of months ago, because the circumstances surrounding my birth left me with some more pressure issues that it's no surprise child protection does not help your blood pressure. Stay down. Yes, sort of gave that out recently, which feels still, it doesn't feel real. Like I still can't believe I'm not going back. But yeah, social work can take me anywhere. So I know that I have heaps of options and lots of experience now. So I'm excited to see where I am.
Yeah, not good on yeah, like I said, I think what you guys do on that other side, oh, my god, like I, I quit, I was working in a law firm, just before I decided to completely change and go into child childcare and early childhood education because I was finding out things about things happening in my town that I didn't want to know about. Like, I'm, I'm a very sensitive person, and I find it hard not to take on other people's emotions and situations and experiences. So you know, I'd be sitting there typing, affidavits of people who are coming through the court system for, for doing horrible things to children and young people. And I thought I can't I can't keep doing this. And I said to my husband, I need to I need to help the children. Like in my mind, it was like help the children he's like, but you are helping the children and you're putting their perpetrators to court, you're contributing to that process. Like no, but I need to have my hands on the children like I just had this feeling I needed to be able to hold the children and you know, pick up stuff and reports and do that sort of stuff rather than, you know, the real hardcore stuff, which I'm just not cut out for at all.
Because I mean, I honestly like I look at people that are in education, and I just think you have the patience of a saint. I'll protect the kids but after them skills, I think knowing where you fit is so important because you know, otherwise you're just forcing a job you hate and then if you think it's really cool perspective to early childhood, like most people just kind of love little kids and love working with them but I think bring a bit of an extra skill to it. Kind of having seen We're helping kids don't?
Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, it really, it really makes your days so much more focused and more productive. Because a lot of people have an idea that childcare and I mean, it kindy at the moment is literally sitting on the floor playing with kids all day. Like, they think it's just some, like fancy way out of doing nothing. And so oh my gosh, like, no, like, people come in and do work experience or the they do their placement and they just go oh, it's not what I thought it was gonna be like, it is really demanding work and physically but also emotionally and mentally. You know, you're focusing on these little people and it's not just, I don't know, it's, it's such a broad scope of what you're looking at, for this child.
Like this do the same job as you I'm just hearing the amount of just the admin side
of it. Yeah, that's
writing individualized notes for each child. And every day I'm gonna be like, favorite anything otherwise apathetic parent ever. Did you have lunch? Great, great. Good. Like I'm, I'm in awe of people that can keep up with that. Like, it's just not what I'm seeing, you know, she makes all her little activities and stuff you're taking and there's so much passion that goes into teaching kids question that I do not have. Very impressed.
It's interesting how it all fits together, isn't it? How we will play a little cards and yeah, now good Anya, I really have a lot of admiration for you guys story.
I first discovered you on Instagram, with your very awesome named account the pesky placenta society, which is brilliant. Can you tell me how you came up with that day?
So it was it was not my first one. I was actually thinking today. I will come with the page like and I looked at some of the graphics I did in the beginning. Ugly. I had. Yeah, I had another name initially. And that was like part of one of my favorite quotes, which I still love. But you know, it wasn't mine. And I think as the space started to grow, and you know, people actually seem to care about what I was. I thought, No, I want to I want to move forward as something that's just me. And from the beginning of my pregnancy, I had the anterior placenta, which is at the front, so I would always call it pecky. Because it meant that I couldn't feel as much movement. I had so many trips to the hospital being like, oh, my gosh, and then the second thing had gone who'd be like, Connie told my Microcenter pesky from from day one. But then I ended up diagnosed with preeclampsia. So it became like, super speed as pesky as it can be. And I think that having a I was worrying people would think I was making light of it, that sometimes I do, like, that's just how I am. And I think it's quite the and it's weird. And that's, that's me. Yeah, absolutely. You know, there are so many people out there that not just for vanity reasons, there's so many issues you can have with your placenta. It's just a fun little way of honoring the journey.
Yeah. Yeah, no, I love it. I think it's really cool. Because I think, I mean, there's so many people out there, everyone's got a different way of dealing with or processing issues and an account that might be really clinical and crisp and coming at it from a, you know, medical area, whatever, that might not see everybody, you know, like I I sort of have a joke when I talk about my placenta, that it's been pesky as well. It's sort of had a I don't know what the official name is. I've been trying to find it but it basically the blood flow was compromised from about 28 weeks. So then that meant that the baby didn't develop. And basically he stopped growing was dental insufficiency. Placental insufficiency. Yeah. So I sort of make a joke about that myself because my son when he was born, he was four pound 14. But he was completely formed, you know, he had his lungs were formed, everything was developed. He was all there. But he was just really tiny. He had no fat on him. He come out like looking like a skeleton rabbit. Like these tiny things, and you could see his diaphragm like when he was breathing like you could see every little muscle and everything inside him. So when people were still here quite little now. And they'll say, oh, yeah, he's a little little tack here. And I'll just say, oh, yeah, my plus Cena kind of stuff working. You know, I say it is a bit of a joke like. So yeah, I can appreciate where you're coming from. I mean, it's good. I think it's good to share in that way
do you want to share a little bit more about that experience for you finding out you had that anterior placenta and sort of how things progressed from that point?
Yeah, so um, well, I looking back now I had high blood pressure from like the beginning of my pregnancy, because life was quite stressful, and I got pregnant and stayed. So for probably about half the pregnancy to similar things happening in life. So I was pretty frequently stuck in hospital for the blood pressure profiles, or they can be there for like three or four hours and check it. So I was used to that. And preeclampsia is something that like, it was mentioned when I booked in, because they run through the symptoms, just keep an eye out for these. But I didn't, they never really went through what it was what would happen like, anything like that. So I knew it existed, I knew it was serious, I knew I needed to look out for it. And I, on the anxious side of the spectrum. I was constantly worried. I mean, really, pregnancy just amplifies any mental health that you have what in my experience. So I was constantly, you know, panicking, that I was gonna get sick or something. And all that kind of thing. And then when I started to actually get symptoms, you know, I was going, Oh, my gosh, like, am I just making a big deal out of this? Because I'm anxious, or is this really a thing and, you know, every appointment, I've run all this stuff by the obese, and I wasn't seeing the same person consistently, because I was just booked into public hospital. And towards the end of the pregnancy, I stepped on weight really fast, which is another symptom because you start to swell, and you get the edema and all that. But the conversation sort of turned to like trying to make me go to an obesity clinic instead. And this is not the same, like, I know what's healthy and what's not. And I wasn't in like the peak of fitness. When I got pregnant, I'll be the first one to acknowledge that this was different, like it was just so quick. And I had all these other things. Like in all the great times the symptoms, there was only one or I didn't in the end. And so I just didn't feel like I was being taken seriously. And I went to a different hospital, which has been more focused on women's health. And they're the high risk hospital for a huge geographical area. And so I went in and I was diagnosed that day. And I was there for about a week. My blood pressure still is an extreme, like, every doctor I see. They're like, that's not possible. And then my son was born rather than 35 Lakes, I got very sick very quickly and died. And I actually went into the realm of fantasy, which is where you start to see ease. So that happened literally a few minutes after they came and checked me. So the timing was all just perfect. And yeah, so
it was all very fast and scary. And and yeah, just crazy. And I think it took me a long time to reassess what had happened. But that sort of then led me to this world of perinatal trauma and the online space has been so helpful, remain silent, not anyone literally in my personal life who's had a similar story. Lots of people like to tell you, they know how you feel when they actually do it. Yeah. And it's always well mannered, but it's not the same. And so, yes, trauma, you own that, but it's not the same. And so I think finding people who could say actually, oh, my gosh, that happened to me. And there's so many intricacies in processing your trauma that I think a lot of people generalize. When you find someone who can be like, No, I had that exact thought like it's just really, it's comforting and it makes you feel like you're not crazy.
Yeah, that's it, isn't it? Yeah, yeah. And I
think too, like I've been left with lifelong problems like I will be on blood pressure medication till I die. We which is more likely to be from like a heart attack now. And, you know, there's just so many things that preeclampsia makes you vulnerable to forever. So it's, it doesn't end with the birth. I think for some people it does, and that's great. But for me, you know, I'm in that sort of tiny categories, people who just another gonna have normal blood pressure. And that's still something I'm cranky on some days. But it's easily manageable. I think it's just another thing that I have to think about now. And you become a parent, like your brain is just going 100 miles an hour as it is, and then you've got to try and remember your own health, which
it doesn't come first anymore.
So that's what like, I have to have reminders on my phone, like to take a pill and I've never had to do that before, but it's just how my brain works now. Yeah. That's a real, like, brief summary of it. I mean, I have the whole story typed up for people to read on my website. But yeah, sure. Yeah. That's probably the quickest I can summarize what happened.
Yeah, that's interesting. You know, this, the preeclampsia, I was the same like people would mentioned. And so yeah, watch out for this wherever. But it was almost like a passing comment. And it wasn't explained that if this did happen, then this this, this would happen. And we'd have to do this, this and this, like, it was just really general. And I think I knew one girl that had to get induced because she had it. But it was like, I didn't really ever understand what it was. And then when you're saying there about, you basically went from preeclampsia to actual preeclampsia. And then it's the thing that now you're dealing with for the rest of your life. I actually didn't know that. So yeah, I'm pleased that you sharing misinformation, because learning suddenly,
your clients your side of things is not, I mean, it's not as common like pregnancy as a five to 8% of all pregnancies. So it's like not a lot, but also a lot of when we think of how many pregnancies there are a very small percentage of that. And I think, on paper, I don't think they would have diagnosed me with that, because it sort of started to happen as they were delivering him. So I think they managed to sort of stop it in time, but I did. So it was like my bottom haul, started seizing change. It was like I was trying to do setups like that I couldn't control it. But that's not like talks about the only thing I knew was there's like an episode of Downton Abbey where one of the characters dies from eclampsia. thing that we're talking about? So like it's really not like preeclampsia in and of itself isn't talked about. But then for the people who have that next step. It classier like it's even more quiet. So I try to be as honest as I can just because people need that, like, I need your help. I'm gonna do this. Yeah, I'm very open book. Yeah.
Yeah, no, I appreciate that. It's wonderful. It's wonderful. I often say that. It's like, the people that are capable of sharing. It's not like, it's not like yeesh you've obliged to do it, or you have to do it. But it's good. If you can do it for the people that can't share necessarily. So I love that you can do it. And yeah, thank you for doing just on that. Was that. Was that Sybil? Did she have preeclampsia?
Yeah, yes. Yeah. So they, I watched the episode. After, I think my son was a few months old. I was watching through it again. And I was like, okay, like, I can do this. But oh my gosh, like the whole I just cried and cried the whole way through. Because I think I have these moments where, like, I just realized, oh, man, I'm gonna cry now. I just realized how close I was like, and that's such a scary thought and watching it, you know, in a big show with all these famous people, like it was just a bit surreal kind of going, Oh, my gosh, that was me. I mean, obviously, in the show, she passes away, and there's a lot of people that do and, and I was so close to that. And so I think the feeling of getting that close, and then coming back is like its whole own category of using being as open as I can about it. Because I know that no matter how stupid I think authority is or how dark it might be, like someone else out there has either had it or is having it right now. And I think that's you gotta have people who can go like, you know, with, you know, crazy, you know, what processing looks like is what trauma does to our brains. Yeah. Trauma is my bread and butter. Like that's what Yeah. And so I know it very intimately on an academic level. I'm personally but then I sort of have these two halves of my brain where, literally, we have two halves. It was sort of like a kid is the emotional side, it's freaking out. And you know, what's happening? I don't know who I am anymore. And then there's the logical brain, my brain like we studied this, we know this. We know what's gonna happen next. Hobbs that we're constantly surprising each other, indicating very well. So he was very strange going through that, like knowing trauma as much as I do. And that's when it's you. All bets are off. Like, it's just totally different when you're the subject of it. So, yeah, yeah, I think there's a lot, a lot of sort of niche stuff, I guess that I can relate to the people. And in the context, like the preeclampsia world, and the perinatal Tron world online is so dominated by the US, which is not a bad thing. Like, they have a lot of people. But I think it's really nice when you can find someone that understands your culture, and your geographical context, and our health system is different. And like all that sort of thing. So I think it's been nice to be able to slot into that space. That was kind of empty. And obviously, there are a lot of survivors and stuff that have accounts, but I think that's more about just their, their life and that kind of thing. Whereas I wanted something that was more open to help people have a space to be like, Oh my gosh, this happened to me, and it sucked. So yeah, I always get very excited when I find other creators. Yeah, for sure. We are literally in comparison to the rest of the world. So I think it's nice that this space is growing in a way that is relatable and accessible to everyone. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
When did you decide that you wanted to share this with others and create this account and get it out there? When was that sort of, in your mind,
I started so writing has always not always, but as an adult, I suppose it's been my outlet. And I've never really thought of myself as an autistic person, I think of myself as a creative person. And in my head, they're different things. So I, I was that 2023. So 10 years ago, I was very chronically disliked mystery illness. So I used writing to kind of express that to people because it's really hard to just like sit and talk environment about what's going on. And I found that to be really helpful just for me to get my thoughts out, but also to be able to give them to other people and be like, This is what I'm trying to say. And so from there, you know, I do a few little topical EcoLog stuff over the years about different social justice issues or, or things like that. And then you know, that kind of stopped his life got busier and, and then when my son was born, and I got really sick, I actually started writing it down just to try and remember what happened because neurologically impaired, but also, so called fentanyl, which is a really heavy duty, because they had to start my C section before the anesthetic studying. So he was like, I'm gonna pump you with as much as I can. So I was really out of it for several hours in and out of consciousness in the ICU. And so when I woke up like in the postnatal ward, I was like, I have no idea what just happened. And it's just in flushes coming back to me, I started to just jot those down, knowing that at some stage, I was going to need to write it out properly, and you know, make it sound nice. And then as I did that, like, I didn't have the intention of publicly sharing it. I think I was going to share it like with some close friends and family and just kind of Yeah, there was so much like, particularly the postpartum period as well, like there's so much that I could have verbalized that I could write about. And so I had planned to share it with some and then a few ladies in my life who are midwives and community nurses that I knew who were were very lovely and cared for me very well. After my son was born, and they were like this is get this would help people like if you share this, it would help someone. Yeah, and I just thought you know what, like, on the off chance that there is one person raised there goes and goes, oh my gosh, like, and has that moment that I had reading all the stories? You know, it's what, like, it's worth the vulnerability is that what you say? And experience could help another person start to heal. And I thought, Okay, I'll just do it. And it was lovely. Like literally the day that I started the account, I got a message from someone on the Central Coast in New South Wales. Oh my gosh, like you're the first person in Australia that I've come across who has had a story that's a bit like mine. And I was just so like, it was just the nicest thing to hear obviously, not that they went through that. I know. What I wanted happens, like so fast. And and that's been, it's really been twofold. Like, it's helped me get a lot of stuff out that I needed to, but it's also helped a lot of people start to do that for themselves. And that's just, yeah, it's been really helpful. For me, I think having something to occupy my mind when you're stuck with, you know, a feed or a nap or whatever it is, like having something I can focus on, and still have that best that's beyond just being a mom like that. That's so important to me in a way that I didn't see coming. Like I expected to just be so in love with motherhood, and then it happened. And I was like, this is not what's in the movies. Yeah. So I think having this has been really like, salvation. For me, I think for my mental health, but just having something to do, like, you know, you just feel so the immobile sometimes as a stay at home parent. Having having an outlet to still create and share and stuff has been essential for me. Yeah, and it's led me to some really lovely people. So that's always a bonus as well. Yeah. And
on that. I noticed on your, your web, your web page that you share stories from other mums? Yeah. And did that start to happen fairly quickly? Or is that something that you sort of happened as you went along? Meeting people and stuff.
I think that wasn't like, an intention that I have, in the beginning, it sort of organically happened, I think. And not just about like people with preeclampsia. Like, there's so many things that I'm passionate about, like, as a social worker, you care about a lot of things. You know, there's not really a topic that I'm not happy to share. But I just started with, like my sister's story, you know, she had pregnancy loss, and then had my nephew on Christmas Eve, and had a really difficult postpartum period. And so he wrote that up. And, you know, the more I sort of started sharing, the more I thought, there's so many things that are just like, what I went through that someone else is sitting there going like, Okay, I didn't have preeclampsia, but I had a miscarriage, it stopped. So I think I like to keep it fairly open. And I know like, all the advice you get with like social media is assigned a nation stick to it. And it was like, there's too many things. Like, I looked at some other accounts that have these beautiful, like, stains with the colors. And you know, that one's spotty. And that one's got flowers. And I just thought pink, so I thought I might as well be like that with my website. Exactly. Yes. Yeah. So I think it's really cool. Like the amount of people who hoo do contact me and go, like, I want to, I don't know where to start, like, so at first, it was just sharing stuff that people had already written out. But now it's kind of at a, you know, guiding people through that. And that's been a real privilege to, you know, sit with someone, well sit with someone online, and kind of help them say what they want to say in a way that fits who they are, and their experience, and just the excitement and the emotion that they have in their story going out there. And, like, it's just so special when someone comes to me and says, like, I've never shared this before, but I really want to, and that's just beautiful. Like, it's a connection that, you know, I've never had in any other way. Yeah, so it's been great. And there's just so many people in my own life that I think like your stories and people need to hear it. Yeah. So I do not have nagged a few people. But it's great for them. Like I love seeing other people have that moment of like, okay, people hear my story, and I take it seriously. And, you know, my story has value. And yes, yes, storytelling is like the ancient form of communication. And I think we lost that a little bit over time. And so I think, sort of stepping back into that has been more emotional than I expected. And just an honor, like I always just feel so privileged when somebody trusts me with that, like, it's a really big responsibility. So I do take it very seriously.
Yeah, that's lovely. I think people can sometimes think that what they've got to say isn't a value because they don't hold a status in society, or because they don't have 100,000 followers or, you know, because whatever reason people can sort of, what's that? That? Yeah, they can, they can really diminish the value of the, of what they've got to say, and it's even people that I've had on this on this podcast over the years, they are I'm not creative, I'm not good enough. I'm not whatever it's like, I can see that you are, you know, I'm not telling you, you know, I'm not going to force people, you know, you have to be on the show. And just give people a bit of time to think about it, like to support them. And then people will come back to me and go, actually, yes, I would like to come on, you know, and that's like, yes. Like, I feel like, I want you to see yourself as we see, you know, like, you have so much to add and even someone the other day, just as are wrapping up the episode that like, I hope that was okay, I feel like I, what I've got to say isn't isn't good enough, or isn't big enough. It's like, seriously, like, I like you sit with someone for an hour or an hour and a half. And you just take, like what they've got to say so valuable. Like I just I want people to feel like empowered that they have a space and they have, they have people that will find value in what they have to say, you know, absolutely, people.
We are our own worst critics as women. We're taught to believe that we need to be bigger and better than we are. And so I do it myself all the time. Like, I second guessed everything I look at even stuff like my life story, like Medically speaking, I should be dead. Like I survived something that even my specialists couldn't make sense. So, like I know that to be and still understand. Oh, it's not interesting. You know, we played Dan Brown
it was actually your, like, you know, your list of things that you talked about on the podcast? Yeah. Yeah. So when I read through that, and there's the whole section on McGill, and I was just like, I mean, I've been reflecting on that so much, because I think I had this realization of like, obviously, I can relate to mom guilt, but it's just this extension of like, woman guilt that I've had my whole life. And, you know, a Carlin's like yeah, I've been a bit obsessed with that idea, since I read that a few weeks ago, and I just thought, oh my gosh, like, so much mental energy goes into being a woman that, then is exacerbated as a mother because there's all these expectations on you. And no, we really have this like, No, I'm not enough of the stuff that I should be in a hole, but I'm too much of stuff. And we have this contradiction that we just sit in all the time. And yeah, like, just my own experience happened. And I still doubt it. Like, I went through, like, medical evidence that it happened, and I still kind of feel maybe I'm just making a big deal. But like, I shouldn't even deal with it. Because that's what it is. And that's the same of any story. Like anything that's happened to you is important and relatable, and I'm trying so hard not to or to challenge I guess that that little voice that I have of like, got to make sure everything's perfect. Why?
Little did you know that your email like unleashed this whole war. I'm so pleased. And my work here is done. Exactly. Then I read the rest of your list as I got to my mind. It really did make me think about like, how I where I placed my value as a mom and just as a person. And how much subtle stuff there is out there telling us what we need to be like I'm well and truly good enough for my son and I know that but I still you know, I don't know how many times a day I convinced myself that's not true.
Particularly because like my postpartum, I did not like my baby for a solid two months of his life. And that still makes me feel horrible to say out loud. But it's true like I was so like wrecked from everything that happened and separated from him, you know, I didn't get to meet him for 24 hours. But even then my brain just doesn't when other people have to wait more than that, like some people have to wait a week.
You trying to justify Yeah,
I still didn't meet my babies for 24 hours. And so I think that really affected the way that I make sense of it is that it affected my ability to bond to him, because even though I didn't meet him, like I met him the next day or the next night, and then I was still in the ICU a day or so. And then I was on a different word to him because he was in special care. And like I say, session was so fast that I could barely walk like it was yeah, you know, I find out how long other sections went for. And I think Oh, my God, mine was not that long, like, so it was very rough. And like, physically, I was quite damaged. I mean, nothing was wrong, but it was just super and yeah, so it was, it was a full week, like until we went home. And then, you know, I had this tiny human, and I just look at him and be like, I don't want to feel these things for you. And I don't. And so that was like a whole journey. And I think that really affected how I could view myself as a mom, because in my head, I was like, what sort of doesn't like me, like, what sort of mom doesn't want to spend time with her baby, you know, because we get told this beautiful view of motherhood, which it can be like, I have those feelings now of just joy. And you know, I look at him and I want to eat him. And but when you don't have that, from day one, I think the world sort of wants you to believe that there's something wrong with you. And there was something wrong with me that was completely out of my control. And I needed a lot of help. But that didn't make me a bad mom, you know, I met his needs, and that sort of thing. So I think going into motherhood that way, it really, really made that voice very loud. That told me that I wasn't enough of this. I was too much of that my son doesn't. Like all that kind of thing was so loud for the first little while of his life. And thankfully, you know, therapy and medication has made that voice much more quiet. But it's still there. And I think that's what sucks thing a woman like that voice is always in the back of your head kind of telling you that it's your fault, or you need to do this and you need to Yeah,
you haven't done good enough or you haven't done the right thing. Yeah.
I think women have the role. We are given the role of making sure everything's great. We get no credit for that. And then if something goes wrong, we get blamed for that. Yes,
it's like an impossible task. Isn't it? Like, you're set up to fail right from the start? Yes. Yeah.
I even tried to do an experiment last week. I was like, You know what, because I can't be the only one that's done this. I bumped into like a chair, my ankle, like get the chair like and I apologize.
Yeah. What? I just apologize for pieces. Like that's how brainwashed I've been to believe that. Everything is my fault just for existing. I was like, You know what, I'm gonna do an experiment in the next 24 hours. I'm going to count how many times I apologize. Not so like stuff because I've actually done wrong, but just as apologies that we make, like, as an instinct. I couldn't keep up not because there was heaps, I just, it's so natural in my brain to be like, I'm so sorry I exist, that I couldn't count them. And I thought that's so sad. Like, it's so sad. My husband doesn't have that problem ever. Like, I've never seen him apologize to a chair. I've seen any man apologize to a chair. So I think like there's so much work for me to do, but it's exhausting that I have to do. And then like trying to do all of this at the same time as being a mom like, oh, yeah, we have a lot on our shoulders and no one you can't see it. It's there. And yeah, I just think the more honest we can be about motherhood the good guy, but I don't think we just need to focus So on the yucky parts, but everyone has yucky parts. And if we pretend that we don't we just, we do such a disservice to each other as women, and as moms by convincing ourselves that we need to be perfect. And, you know, so I am so grateful to have found, I think, a community of people who are all trying to be really honest about the crap, because we're all gonna have it, you know, we'll all have the great times too. But I think we need each other, to be really honest about how hard it can be to transition into parenthood, and then to stay there like,
yeah, yeah. And then all those stages that come through, you know, like, it's
brought up, and then they change. And it's like, yeah, you're just constantly learning from scratch. And so I think, yeah, I think stay at home parents are like the backbone of society. Podcast,
honestly, that that is another group of people I have so much respect for, because I couldn't do it, I literally couldn't do it, I think I have a certain amount of minutes in my day that I can be completely focused on my children. And then I've got to go do something else. Because it's like, my brain just doesn't have the capacity for that. I need that outlet, I need something for me. But I feel like the patriarchy and that system that's been set up, it encourages us to compete against each other, you know, it's pits us against each other, she's doing this, or I can do this, blah, blah, and what you're saying, I totally 100% agree with, like, sharing what's real, sharing the challenges and saying, It's okay, we all have crap times, you know, like, I'm, I'm getting so good. Now, it just, you know, laughing about the fact that my kids can't find their shoes in the morning. Like, it's just, you know, it's we never, ever really sprays morning, and that's what life is. And then also, you know, being kind to myself and going, you're not going to You can't expect this, like TV or Hollywood version of life. You know, I found that really tricky. with mine, having both my boys by never had a spontaneous, like going into labor. So I never got that moment of oh, my waters broken down the street or, you know, like, the on the on the telly. And never, I never had a normal, normal. I'll put that in air quotes, because that's such thing as normal, but a straightforward birth without complications. I've had one that was born in an hour and a half, and one that was born by emergency C section. And you have these images in your mind of what's going to happen when the baby's born, they put it on you, and this happens, and you go home and everything's, it's like, it's bullshit. It's just setting you up for trouble and failure in your mind. Because that's not life. It's not real. So the more we can tell each other, that what is happening to us is normal, and his life and things are gonna go wrong. And things aren't always gonna go the way we expect. And the better, we'll all be, I think, absolutely.
You have your dream book. And this is something that actually my therapist, that's me, I think, you know, first session, I was very lucky that I was able to get into see a perinatal trauma therapist who actually knows what she's talking about. And she said, You know, I see a lot of women like me that have bursts that are just horrendous, but I also see a lot of women who have the birth that they wanted, and still were left feeling traumatized by something. And so like, you know, I believe that women can birth and they can do it safely, and they can do it freely. But I also believe there are a lot of us that even if all goes to plan, we're still gonna walk away traumatized, and that's okay. And yeah, I just thought, oh my gosh, you think about like, like, just the baby blues, the hormones and my when my sister was about to have the baby, I said to her, I was like, isn't gonna make sense now. But it will was like those first two weeks, you're going to feel like the world is ending and that it never going to change. But it will like it just will when you hit that sort of two week mark, and you're home and settle down, like, the fog will pass and be able to see everything again. So remember that first time, she was like, What am I done? I don't know what I'm doing, like, everything's wrong, and it's never gonna get better. I was like, I told you this was gonna happen. I was like, it's predictable. And sure enough, within a fortnight, she's like, Oh, this isn't so that. Things like that, where we try and we make this sort of beautiful newborn bottle that. I mean, some people have gone yeah, but a lot of us don't like I feel like more people struggle than not. And, you know, we shouldn't be honest about that. Because otherwise we make parents who just feel like they're broken from day one. Yeah,
yeah, there's something wrong with you. Yeah, it
sucks because it's like there's something inherent about you that's wrong. And that's had like fighting that and challenging that is It's a lot of mental work and needs to go daily to keep alive.
Like, yeah, that's it, isn't it? It's all encompassing. Yes, yeah.
You're listening to the art of being a mom with my mum, Alison Newman.
When you said before about not having that sort of the connection with your son a little bit of time, I wanted to say something about that, but I'm not sure how to word it. And I don't want to keep talking about myself, because this isn't my show. But
what it is, but you
know what I mean, it's not my special episode. So I'm conscious of that. So I might, but I'm sort of trying to lead into it with it. I had an experience where I was because of this the second child emergency C section, I was so and I might be a little bit selfish, but I was thinking, I have to heal, right, my body has been cut open, how many other layers you go through, it's the most invasive surgery you can have. You know, and then I'm not allowed to lift things. I'm not allowed to drive. So I can't you know, I'm physically bound to my home. I couldn't really walk that well. Like, I was still recovering from that. And I thought, No, I'm expected to take care of this baby. And I thought this is bullshit. You know, how is this right? And I was quite, I guess, resentful. Probably the right word. So I found it difficult to sort of be all in, in this happy bubble land of baby because it was like, hang on a second. What about me? Yeah, you know, and then I thought, I can't say that, because it's all about the baby. You know what I mean? Did you?
Yeah, I think because my therapist asked me outright, she was like, Do you blame your son for what happened? Like, do you because I was talking about this, like, I don't feel anything like, I know that I'm supposed to be all mushy and love him more than anything. And I don't feel it. And she was like to blame him for getting sick and nearly dying. And I could honestly say, No, what I did blame him for was taking all of that time. And I couldn't focus on healing myself, like that. I felt like every time, you know, I'd need to do something. And not just like, medical appointments, because I don't want to have appointments. So appointment to do for the first two weeks of his life. So obviously, I had to go to those. But every time I wanted to pay, he'd start crying. And I'd be like, Oh, my gosh, I can't even go to the toilet without failing you as a parent. And so I did, I have a lot of resent, I think towards him. Not, I don't know, because that sounds like a strong word. But that's what it was. You know, I just I looked at him. And I'd be like, because of you I can't be okay. That's just that was my reality at the time. And thankfully, you know, I have a husband who loves being a dad, and, you know, spent the first week being really the sole parent. And he took that on and has just run with it, you know, from day one, and not everybody has that. So I'm very blessed in that way. I had a mom who was at my house every day, you know, to do all the chores, like, you know, I have my little village that and I still was like that I need to be me again. That was like, I think after you have any kind of traumatic birth, figuring out who you are, is hard. Because you can't go back to what you were not who you want to be yet. You're just this like in between person that you don't recognize. And then you have this little squealing child that you know needs. They're relentless, relentless, and they should be exposed today. But when you're in that space of trying to just like survive, it's sort of the last thing that you need. And so I did, I felt really like a lot of that struggle to attach to him was because he was the barrier at the same time and overcoming that is difficult. And I had lots of support, and I still struggled. So there are a lot of people out there and it may be gave me so much respect for the families that I've worked with in the past. I was like, you know, the fact that like, your kid is five and like, I'm only hearing you that now it's like this is not so stressed that I was under with every possible support I could want. Yeah, it really made me realize who was in my corner. So that was a good thing, but I definitely you know, I'd look at this perfect little face and I'd be like yeah, and that just felt like I felt like a monster. I felt like some awful like, troll that had crawled out from under the bridge and like hated the baby. But like that Here's how I felt, I felt like I was on my own. I felt like, I'd made this huge mistake and brought this child into the world that I didn't want. And that, you know, I really felt like I never would like I'd look at, you know, moms loving their kids. And I'd be like, how do you do? Like, I don't have that, and I want that. And I did get there. But, you know, two months is a long time really, when you think about how much I had to do to get to that point. So it's just yeah, I think it feels like it goes against our nature as women to say out loud, like, I do not like my baby. And that is that we have to stay in, because people feel that way. Like, and that's what I mean, like, you can care for a child and meet all their needs and still not have that joy. And that's okay. Yeah, yeah. One day might not be swimming, but it happens slowly. And thankfully, I got there in time.
I needed to have that space to heal. Like, I don't think I think I'd still be struggling if I didn't have the ability to prioritize like it was a bit of a weird silver lining of a traumatic birth was that I could leave him with people. And know he was okay. You know, I know so many moms that who have that beautiful oxytocin rush at birth, who they'd be thinking about their baby nonstop and your brains. Our brains are supposed to be wired that way. Right? And so and I just be like, yeah,
that's, yeah, that's a good point, actually. Now you say it, I feel felt the same way. But I hadn't really put my finger on it. Cuz he, he, as soon as you know, he was born, he was whisked off to the little box thing they put him in to keep them warm. And he was also given formula. And that was like a weight off of my shoulders. Because not all on me anymore.
I am like, the biggest formula fan. In the world, I literally had no choice because my milk never came in. But I was so desperate diversity, and again, fell to the mother because I couldn't. But formula meant that I could recover. But I could leave who was my husband and I could have four nights of sleep. Like, it just gave us something that I don't think we could have had. I addressed it. And honestly, if I have another one, I don't think I even want to try breastfeeding because I was traumatized by the process of it not working. But I actually reflecting not that long ago, and I this is one of those things, I'd totally forgotten that. That sort of really emphasized my, where I was sitting in terms of like, not having a lot of emotion for my baby. I took him for a six week noodles. And my sister was with me and you know, the nurse was like, giving me all this prep on like, you're gonna be really distressed because he's gonna cry and it's gonna upset you. And I said, No, I'll be fine. She was like, No, really, like, everyone says that and then they burst into tears. So just be ready. And in my head, I was like, I don't care. Like, I don't care if he cried. And then he did. He started crying. And she looked at me and she was like, patting my arm. She's like, he's okay. And I literally looked her in the eye and I won't be sad, worse. And she just raised her eyebrows and I can see what's happening. My sister's sitting there with tears pouring down and she's like, just sitting there so indifferent. I completely forgot that happened. And my sister the other day, she was like, Yeah, you would not okay. Yeah, yeah. That's how I felt like I listened to him cry, and I felt nothing. And like, I was just what happened? I can't change it. And, you know, it didn't mean that I didn't care about him or like, I think I was. I did a lot of distancing, I think because I was just expecting to die like at any moment, I was not real panic of you know, it's not over yet. Because preeclampsia you can develop up to six weeks after you have a baby. So yeah, so you can have postpartum preeclampsia or help syndrome or pregnancy, which are like the sort of more severe versions. And so I knew that I was still in that time frame like I so I think I spent a long time trying not to get to know him because I thought if something happens to me like it's going to be harder for you. You to them not have a mom, like, you know, here's this big you didn't know what was happening. But that's how I was rationalizing. And so it was hard like trying to survive and care for a baby and still be yourself and find things that make you happy. And you just get bombarded with all of these things. I just need to rest, restaurants appearances is difficult. But I'm glad that I prioritized it because I think it gave me strength to then try and make the other things more positive or whatever. Yeah, but I mean, again, back to like, being a woman, resting is nowhere else. So even though I just been sliced open to my very core and back together really quickly, and you know, all that stuff. I was still like, no, like, I don't deserve rest. But, you know, that's just what I needed. So I think my body eventually just gave out and would just go to sleep, like at a moment's notice. You know, yes, my son had to wait, sometimes it meant that I could do it. And now, you know, I lost him. And I have all of those feelings that I wanted. And you know, that stuff came in time. It's hard, when the only stories that you're seeing and hearing are people that, you know, have that moment where they're on their chest, and they kiss the partner, and they have this beautiful golden hour. And, you know, and that's all you see, it's very hard to see your own experience as worth anything or real or, like, you just kind of look with envy, or these videos. Like, I still feel weird. I still feel weird seeing videos of, you know, moms that have their babies immediately placed on them, or like, I just instantly still feel jealous. You know, obviously, I would not wish my experience on anyone. But I, you know, I wanted that for me. And I didn't get it. And that was its own grief, like processing the loss of experience that I felt good about was a huge part of coming to terms. Yeah, yeah. What happens when your baby?
Let's see, isn't it? And the thing that annoys me is like, people say, Arpit, women have been having babies for 1000s of years, blah, blah, blah, and it's like, but hang on a sec. So many things would have gone wrong over those 1000s of years. And I wanted to ask, and I don't know if this might be an insensitive question. So you can tell me to bugger off if you want to. But did you ever say that you sort of had any sort of feelings about when you talked before about being so close to death and surviving? Did you ever think like, imagine if I was, you know, in a third world country, or imagine if I was stuck at home, or you know how things would have gone
100% Particularly because preeclampsia I mean, the fatality statistics, the vast majority, like are in developing countries, because they don't have prenatal care and all that sort of thing. But even like, if I had done what my OB told me to do, I will be dead. If I had just gone home and relaxed and you know, not thought about it, and like, there's no way like I would have had a seizure at home, my blood pressure went insane. And then I would have died at home. Like it absolutely would have happened. So yes, that was on my mind, a lot like the timing of it was, was just, I see it as a miracle as someone who has faith, but like I said, when you have preeclampsia in hospital, they check your blood pressure, at least hourly. So it's very frequent. And mine was very unpredictable. So the medication wasn't really working. And so they were checking me super frequently. In the space of half an hour I went from like not concerning to our version of the code blue, which is called a map call. And that's where everyone runs in and they do all your tests. And, you know, within 15 minutes of that I started seizing 20 minutes later, my son was born and I was off to the ICU. So like the speed at which all of that happened. And like the fact that I was in hospital like I'm so proud of myself while listening to my gut instinct being like, Hey, I know you see the paranoid with your health, but let's go get checked in anyway. I yeah, I just thought and I still think so often of women who don't survive because they don't have access to what they need. To whether that's a medical professional or medication or whatever, like I think I was in the absolute best place I could have been when that happened. And even then it was a close call. So I marveled at the timing of everything and I just, my heart breaks every time I read a story about a mum, either a mum who dies or a baby like this preeclampsia can very quickly lead to placental abruption, which is very difficult for a little one to survive. And just a number of stories that I've read that sounds similar to mine, but they end with somebody passing away is heartbreaking. And, you know, regardless of what country you're in, but particularly for vulnerable women, you know, whether that's your racial background, or geographically where you live, like, there's just so much that factors into what kind of care you get. And like, I can't fault the kid that I had, like it was absolutely spot on and save my life. But yeah, the amount of people that don't have that is just so upsetting. And preeclampsia is just such a weird, like, no one knows why it happens. Like, it's still this big mystery that affects so many people, and particularly, you know, in developing countries, or even in some rural areas where you're really far away from your health care, I just think, oh my gosh, like if I even I was thinking about, like, I brought my mat lay forward because of my blood pressure. And I was like, I could have still been at work. Like, I could have still been, obviously, it was a Saturday. So, you know, wouldn't have been at work. But like that could have happened on a weekday, like the first day that I got really, really sick, was a Wednesday at lunchtime. And so I just couldn't stop thinking about like, the what ifs? What if person? Yeah, most anxiety people are, but I think I have to dwell on them a little bit. Like I have to give them some space to play out. Otherwise, they just played my mind. So
you work through them? Yeah.
There's so many aspects of my son's birth that I was like, Oh, my gosh, what is that? What is that? And thankfully, none of them came to pass. But yeah, it's very surreal, I think to look at what could have happened very easily what could have happened? And I'm reminded of that, because every time they see a doctor, they want to know, like, what happened to my blood pressure? And they looked at me like, I don't think you're right. Like, I don't think that's possible. And yet, yes, yes, it's possible because here I stand. So like, I get this reminder at every appointment, I thought there's no way you could have survived that. I think, I know, that's not like, as a yay, but it doesn't make me feel better.
I hope to that in my lifetime, we see an answer to how to prevent it. Like, because that's what's scary about everything. Nervous gutters, and you can still get it. How do you? How do you? How do you fight that? I'm very passionate about and research and all that kind of thing now, on a witness just because, you know, I had everything I needed to know what it was. And it still took me by surprise. So the amount of people that you know, if they have a dodgy healthcare provider, or you know, there's so many things that could lead to you not not taking any notice, or just pregnancy being uncomfortable. Like there's so many symptoms of preeclampsia that you could just go oh, well, you know, I'm pregnant. So yeah, what I'm supposed to feel like shit. And like, sometimes. But I think like, yeah, it's just it's so important for women to trust themselves. Yes, yeah. We know that we know when we got feel good. And I can pretty much guarantee that everyone in the world, or at least in the developed world, will have a experience of trying to share something with particularly a male provider and being told like, no, that's not possible or like to go for a walk in assumption, or something like that when we're talking about a life threatening illness. That people can I walk away feeling dismissed. And then like within a week, I nearly died. That's a big deal. And the reason I didn't was because I went, you know what stuff you I'm gonna go and get it anyway. And 10 years ago, I wouldn't have had that, like, I wouldn't have had the confidence to trust myself. So, because we are taught to believe that what we think is less than why because of it, because we tell ourselves that we're just making a big deal out of nothing, but
yet someone else knows better. So we couldn't possibly be right.
To be like our own hype girl, like I'm getting, that's my goal is to try and be like, yes. I don't care if you can get stupid.
Yeah, look this off. There was a post. I don't know how long ago I saw it on Instagram. It was basically people sharing their stories of times when, and this was in, in labor, particularly when they weren't listened to. And the amount of stories it was just appalling. And some of the outcomes were quite serious. And I mean, I didn't have it, I had a little a little moment like that, where by my like I said before, my son was born an hour and a half. And the he was my first delivery. And the doctor sort of joked I'll see you in 10 to 14 hours, you know, he went off to do a cesarean or something. And I literally felt within about half an hour that I felt like, I needed to push like, I felt like this, like I needed to do a poll. Basically, I described it as though there was a bowling ball coming out of my bottom. That's how it felt. And I said to the nurse, I feel like I've got a push. And she just looked at me with a shock on her face. And she she just she freaked out. And she went and got him. And he come in and he just went surely not like this. And I just thought you fucker. Anyway, he did an internal and he could feel the baby's head. I was like, Why don't you listen to us? We know what's going on in our bodies, like, Damn, you all makes us so cross.
Yeah, it shouldn't be revolutionary for a doctor to believe that you're not feeling good. Like, literally your job. Guess to deal with sick people. So if I'm sitting here, whether that's I'm ready to push, or whether that's like, Hey, Doc, I've had a headache and dizziness for like two years, and I don't know what's wrong. Like, it's actually your job to listen to me and to believe me. And you know what my husband's never walked away from an appointment being made to feel like he doesn't know what's wrong. He just, he's always, I love him dearly. He's always like, just shocked when he hears these stories of like, this actually happened. Like I had an appointment once I went in, because I have it's a form of tinnitus, that like you can hear your heartbeat really loudly and it was getting me up at night, like I couldn't sleep. So it was really bad. And you know, because I don't trust doctors. Sometimes I Googled it. And I was like, Okay, this could be a brain tumor. So I should probably go check. I went into this doctor, I explained it. And he told me that I probably just need to drink more water. Oh, and then looked at my file and saw that I have PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome. And so she talked to me about that. And I said, I know like, I'm not managing that, like with my other doctor. I'm just here because I want to check that this isn't serious. And he proceeded to lecture me on my fertility for about 15 minutes, we really should start thinking about like trying to have a baby soon at this point. I was not with my husband, I was not in a place where I wanted to have a baby, or anything like that. And I was like, I just hear about my ear. Like, I'm here to talk to you about a noise in my ear. And you're trying to talk to me about my ovaries like this actually isn't any of your business, right?
You're overstepping your boundaries.
So much like energy has to challenge that in the moment. Like I think, again, experience I hear so often, including my own as women, as you sit in this appointment, just completely astounded at what you're hearing that the first time you try and challenge it, they shut it down. And it's like, you know what, whatever, like, do you speech? I'll go home. I'll Google it some more figured out.
Yeah, we shouldn't have to resort to Google, we should be able to go to any doctor and say, Hey, these are my symptoms returned. What could it be? Yeah. And I think I look I've had these experiences with female healthcare providers to I think it's not just men but I immediately have like, my like antennas go up if I have to see a male doctor because I just my first ever experience that I was talking about at the start of this 10 years ago, I got Lyme disease when I was in America. Yeah, we don't have that here quote, unquote. So there's no testing for it. There's no anything so I was sick with this for nearly two years. But at the start of it, you know, I had all these symptoms. I went to a GP that I Just could get into. So I was 18 at the time, or sorry, just 19. So a baby, a baby with no backbone. And so I sat down and you know, they asked you if there's a possibility can be pregnant, which is fine, because they have to. And I said, No. And he came back to it. And he was happy. You sure? And I said, Yo, I've never been sexually active. So I'm pretty confident. And he literally he raised his eyebrows and said to me, I find that hard to believe. Ah, what do you say to that? Like, I dare anyone to say that to me now, like, with the amount of no crap given that I have now, you know, I hate him. But back then, like our baby, 19 year old with no self esteem. I just, I was like, What the heck. And that was my first experience of like, that feeling of going, okay, so you just think I'm crazy. Like you respect me at all. So I think like, it's it happens. It's real. And then, you know, fast forward to when I was pregnant. And I was being told that I needed to go to an obesity clinic at 33 weeks pregnant. And I was told, like, she told me I needed to lose weight. Like, these babies got another like kilo or two to go, like, in what way? Can I lose weight? She's like, What very least you can't gain any weight. I was like, Okay, again, my baby still got to like, chop out. Like, she was crazy. And what I mean, she was crazy. But it was just, it was mental. I was like, crying. So I was like, This is not like, you know, I had self esteem issues my way in anyway. I was like, Why? Why are we talking about this? You know, and then the next appointment, I was told all of these symptoms, just don't worry about it, you just need to relax more like enjoy your maternity leave. Can you just look at my flashing. That happened a week, I
was gonna ask that actually, if any of these people you've come across again and be like, actually, I almost died. So get started,
I haven't because I went, I switched hospitals. So I had like shared care with the high risk hospital. And that's where I ended up going because they had just completely redone. Like their birthing suites and everything and they have, it's really good. It's basically an emergency department, but for pregnant people. So I went there, because I was like, uh, you guys know, that I am trying to. And when I say trying to I mean, it's on my list and never at the top of my list, because maybe the Social Work team at the hospital, I burst that, like, open for feedback. So caliber long after your birth. And so I plan to have a meeting with them and just kind of go through. Because it's all in the same local health district. I can kind of point out like, Hey, can we have a look at like, who I saw at this thing, because they need to know that when I sat there, and I told them, that I had a headache, and that my vision was blurry. My right shoulder was hurting. And, you know, I was swelling up so much that like, I could push my finger in and it would just leave a dent like it was disgusting. And like all of that I was just told to relax and not to worry about it. And when you look at a list of symptoms of preeclampsia are all there like? So it's a matter of actual education? Like, I mean, I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me that wanted to just be like, like, I nearly died, that. I also want them to do that. Like I wants to know that the next person they see that runs through everything that's happening. They don't just dismiss it and go, Oh, well, you know, you're pregnant, you're likely to be uncomfortable, you know? Yes, you're likely to be uncomfortable, but not to this extent. That's it. Yeah. So I do like, I'm quite passionate about health care providers, not just knowing more, because they know the symptoms. They know them, but seeing it and hearing it and actually taking it seriously. Yeah. Because you don't want to be the doctor that told someone they were fine. And not to worry about it. And then they die. And that's on you.
Yeah, that's it, isn't it? It's
like your job is there to catch this stuff. And to help prevent it and manage it. And if you can't do that, then maybe find another job.
Yeah, that's it, isn't it?
I really saw and just the way that they were treated like I had one midwife, she was lovely. She had probably in the late 40s. And she was the first one to catch my blood pressure during the weird thing where it like split and went into opposite directions. And so she went and grabbed like one of the old days and here's a young, a young guy. He was so dismissive to her work when she was telling him what had happened. And he was like, No, that's not possible. And then he checked my blood pressure and I did the same thing. And then he went on like announced it to everyone because it was So interesting. Like, like, he'd found it. Cool. And I just like, looked at her and I was like, what just happened? And she just sort of rolled her eyes and she's like, Oh, young doctors, like they're all the same. And I was like, I know that like, still, you know, I'm watching this guy who looked younger than me, right? A woman with 20 plus years new recruit experience, or, you know, a new thing that he hadn't seen. And I was like, no, like, like, the midwives are the ones that I was crying on, and that were helping me like, try and walk after three days in an ICU. They were the ones helping, because my C section was so fast that by the time I got back to postnatal, they, they didn't even have time to wake me up, like I was still covered, like, in my blood is disgusting. And so like, you know, I was grossed out by that. But obviously, midwives they've seen everything so gentle and calm and and like, the doctors would come in for 30 seconds every day and be like, yeah, right, by, you know, but the midwives, they were the ones that like I hadn't read, like, who the one who respected them that call. She came and visited me three days after, like, interface, Natal, or just check in and I was like, That's so nice. Like, I know that I could go and find the doctor and he wouldn't have a clue who I was he wouldn't days ago. So I think there's yeah, there's at every level, women are really disadvantaged and made to believe that we don't know what we're talking about. We actually make the world go round.
Absolutely. Oh, my gosh, she could not have said it better. I feel like sometimes, like if we just went on strike, what would happen to the world? You know, if we just went up not doing it anymore, you guys sorted out countries
have successfully passed some pretty significant legislation because women go on a sex strike. story seriously, it's like radicals will ever read. And it's in countries that would surprise you to like, this is not happening in the developed world. And I was just like, oh my gosh, I'm getting
that sounds awesome.
Power. Yes. When men don't get what they want, it's a bit how much you have. But it's not taken seriously when we're actually trying to like use it. You know, beneficial things. Yeah.
Oh, absolutely. That's thing you can sometimes you can feel like so amazing and wonderful. Like we birth we bring the next generation to the world we raise them and then somebody's like, just take the piss out of you at the petrol station because you don't know how to put the hubcap on or you know, it's just something like that, like, and then you're like, This is where I've made
in the world. If I say something, and then a man copies exactly what I say and then everyone is good idea. And I used to just be silent and now I literally go Oh, I wish someone else had said the first like I always have to point it out now because I just get so nabbed. Yes. You can't let it go. Like Yeah. Yeah. A lot of like, a lot of guys that I know and love, don't even realize they do it. Like that's how subtle it is. Yep. And I was, how's this for a proud wife a moment. So my husband, we were having dinner because I caught myself Nan's gleaning today
halfway through the sentence, and I immediately apologize.
A little feminist izany put on him.
You have no idea how much has changed. It's been so good. Like, it's been really a loved one. And I'm happy to learn about privilege. Like I think it's, it's only a good thing. And there's actually if you've not read it, I feel like you'd like it. There's a book called, say what you made me do by Jeff Hill, and it's about domestic abuse. But her chapter on patriarchy is just phenomenal. Like, if you could isolate that chapter on its own, it is the best break down and she's an Aussie. So it's using all these statistics, which I really like. But I think just writing in such a way that like my husband, and was like, Oh my gosh, I had no idea. This is how much the patriarchy hurts me. And yeah, like that sort of thing. So it's definitely it's a resource that I recommend to everyone when I talk about this, which is
Yeah, for sure.
Yeah, it's really good. I think it's really powerful is if a guy can read something about patriarchy and not feel offended by it. It's written well,
yeah, like he's not being attacked and it's kind of feel like his place is being threatened. I guess.
Thank you so much for spending so much time with me today. I've loved chatting with you and going over some some big topics and breaking some stuff down was my favorite thing to do. I love it. Thank you for bearing with me. And thank you so much for sharing. So honestly, I really appreciate it and I know that the listeners will appreciate hearing from you. So thanks again. It's been wonderful. My pleasure and all the best and yeah, keep I'll keep my eye out on your Instagram and laugh along with you. Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review, following or subscribing to the podcast, or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested. The music you heard featured on today's episode was from Elim Joe, which is my new age ambient music trio comprised of myself, my sister, Emma Anderson and her husband John. If you'd like to hear more, you can find a link to us in the show notes. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, please get in touch with us via the link in the show notes. I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mum.