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Katie's Story
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I am the proud mother of four boys, Archie (who would be 8 this year), Billy (4) and my youngest, my twins, Tom and Ed, who are 2 years old.

I think of my association with Gidget Foundation Australia in three chapters, and it’s no accident that I have also had three pregnancies – see, that’s the thing about Gidget, it’s the type of offering for new and expectant parents where they truly weave their services and support into every aspect of your parenting journey and that has certainly been true for me.

My story started on day 12 after giving birth to my eldest son Archie in 2016. I knew that something wasn’t right when I couldn’t sleep, even when the baby was sleeping, and I was worried about anyone else caring for him but me. The vigilance over his safety was debilitating.

I had remembered about the services of Gidget Foundation Australia from my prenatal care under my obstetrician. I met a Gidget Midwife early on in my pregnancy in hospital who did an assessment on me and educated me on the services available through the organisation. I remember thinking at the time that I would store that information away for later. Little did I know how pivotal and powerful that early education would be for me.

Once I landed in my GP’s office on day 12 after having Archie, I knew that I needed to ask for a Mental Health Care Plan so I could reach out to Gidget Foundation Australia for support. In a very short timeframe, I was under the care of an amazing Gidget Clinician who very quickly helped me to normalise my experience, implement practical strategies to cope, and ultimately helped me to make peace with my experience as a new mother.

My most pivotal and important experience with Gidget Foundation Australia though, was after Archie fell ill will leukaemia. During a 20-month battle in Sydney Children’s Hospital, and while pregnant with my second son Billy, I made the decision to engage their support again to help me prepare for my second birth. I knew how important it was to put those support networks in place at a time of such great vulnerability for me and my family.

When we finally made the heartbreaking decision to stop treatment for Archie in July 2019, when he was just 3 years old, our family moved into Bear Cottage at Manly for palliative care. Billy was just 8 weeks old at that time. It was then, in the most acute phase of grief, during the anticipation of Archie’s death, that I leveraged the wonderful support of my Gidget Clinician. And, in the years that have since passed, including as I prepared to give birth to my COVID twins in June 2021, Gidget has been a central pillar of my parenting journey.

I have accessed support at Gidget House North Sydney, in my home, sitting in a hospital bed while pregnant with Billy and caring for Archie, and online via Zoom during COVID restricted periods while pregnant with twins. In all these cases, the incredible Gidget Clinicians have met me where I am – both physically, and mentally, tailoring their offering and services to support me in all the phases of my parenting journey - as a new and then experienced mother, in the depths of postnatal anxiety, and then while processing such significant grief.

I have had the blessing of working with four different Gidget Clinicians over this time, and all with different styles and approaches, but each making an enormous difference to my ability to survive and now thrive.

In case there’s any doubt about how critical these support services are, let me leave you with this heartful message - Gidget Foundation Australia is not only life changing, but lifesaving.

Katie's Story

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