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'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

YOU don't know darkness until you see the light.

You don't know loneliness until you feel the warmth of company.

And for Ipswich mother of four Meltopia Grandelis, she didn't know she had postnatal depression until her fourth child, yet she had suffered through every pregnancy and birth before that.

"I had peri and postnatal depression with all of my children, but I didn't recognise the symptoms," she said.

It was her husband who raised the alarm.

"I was at home with a baby who wouldn't feed and I was petrified he would die of cot death or something at any minute so I would sit next to the cot while he slept," Meltopia said.

"I was so sleep deprived.

"When my husband came home I just walked straight past him, out the door with no shoes on, and just walked around the streets.

RELATED: Deanne's battle with PND: 'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married.'

'All I heard when my baby cried was 'you're a terrible mum'.'

"That's when he rang my GP and said I needed help."

Like many, she didn't take it well.

"I was angry. I thought 'how dare you tell me I need help'. But he forced me to go," she said.

"I just thought 'don't all mothers get no sleep?'."

Meltopia was admitted to hospital in the postnatal depression ward where she was put on suicide watch.

"I remember just thinking 'no I can't go here - I've got lights to buy' because we were renovating at the time," she said.

"It shows I just had no idea how serious I really was."

Meltopia Grandelis says rest is vital for mothers to function properly.
Meltopia Grandelis says rest is vital for mothers to function properly.

Meltopia was given electroconvulsive therapy to help ease her severe depression and talking about it still brings back a flood of sadness.

"When I was wheeled down the ward, knowing my brain was literally about to get fried, that was the most frightening experience," she said.

"When you have it some of your memory goes, so I don't have a lot of memories of when the kids were babies and that's why I don't like to look at photo albums of when they were little because I can't remember them," she said as tears streamed down her cheeks.

But it was all worth it.

The therapy helped Meltopia's mental health and she is off all anti-depressants.

She now knows the importance of sleeping and rest.

As someone who has conquered her inner demons, her advice to other mothers was to build a support network and lean on it when you needed to.

"Find your tribe. Seek out a family member or friend and if you need to pay a doctor to become part of your tribe, then do it," she said.

"And get sleep - the kids will be okay."

Miss last week's episode on kids' health and nutrition? WATCH IT HERE.

Check out our week two episode on 'smack or no smack' HERE.

And out week one episode on technology HERE. 

Topics:  heymumma heymummawork postnatal depression



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