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Nilu's Story
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From Darkness to Light: Nilu’s Postpartum Journey

My name is Nilu and I reside in Miles, Queensland with my beloved family. I have the privilege of being a graduate and a former banker, currently pursuing an MBA.

Within my family, I am fortunate to have an incredible pair of twins, a boy, and a girl, who are 3.5 years old. These twins are not identical but rather fraternal, making them even more special to me.

Alongside my little miracles, I am blessed with a supportive and caring husband who stands by my side through thick and thin.

In the year 2016, my husband and I made the decision to move from Sri Lanka to Australia. Little did we know that in early 2019, we would receive the joyous news of my pregnancy with twins. Although my pregnancy journey was generally smooth and normal, I did face some challenges along the way.

Graves' disease and gestational diabetes made their presence known, but I remained resilient and determined to overcome any obstacles. As a naturally organized and methodical individual, I always had a backup plan in place, especially considering it was a twin pregnancy.

I meticulously prepared for my pregnancy, and the eventual C-section delivery, and even familiarised myself with various feeding techniques for the babies. However, life has a way of not always adhering to our plans.

It became apparent to me immediately after giving birth via planned C-section that something was amiss. The baby blues persisted beyond the expected timeframe and a sense of unease washed over me. Anxiety and depression were unfamiliar territories for me, as I had never experienced them before. To add to my challenges, I also had to confront the need for blood transfusions.

Unfortunately, my situation took a turn for the worse about a month after giving birth.

Sleep became elusive, every minor incident triggered anger within me, and tears flowed incessantly without any discernible reason. I felt utterly lost and alone, unable to breastfeed due to the high levels of stress I was experiencing. In fact, my milk production ceased entirely.

As if that wasn't enough, my twins' sleeping patterns deteriorated drastically, leading to continuous bouts of crying. The weight of everything became overwhelming, causing me to retreat from the outside world and shy away from facing anyone.

It was a paradoxical situation where I was undeniably blessed with twins, yet unable to fully savour the joys of motherhood due to these extreme circumstances. As an Asian woman, I was aware of the cultural tendencies that discourage sharing personal stories and seeking help from others. However, it was imperative that I break free from these constraints to find the support I desperately needed.

Thankfully, my husband, who happens to be a general practitioner, recognized the seriousness of my condition, and guided me towards a psychologist for the recovery process, steering away from antidepressants. We reached a mutual agreement that I would embark on this journey without medication, giving my body and mind a chance to heal on their own terms.

To aid in my recovery, I adopted a series of steps. I attended Pilates classes once a week, engaged in home workouts, practised meditation, indulged in cooking my favourite dishes, found solace in watching my beloved teledramas, and made sure to relax during nap time.

Additionally, I made it a point to have at least one meaningful conversation with a positive individual each day. Whether it was my husband, a counsellor, my mother's group, close friends, or my own mother, their unwavering support helped me navigate through the darkness.

Remarkably, my recovery process progressed relatively swiftly, and I owe much of it to my understanding husband. However, I am acutely aware that countless women endure prolonged struggles due to the absence of familial support.

Nonetheless, these seemingly small steps and approaches proved effective for me, empowering me to confront and conquer postpartum depression head-on.

It is important to note that every individual's recovery journey is unique. Nevertheless, by implementing these simple measures, we may just be able to save another mother's life.

Nilu's Story

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