Transformation Partners in Health and Care > Perinatal Mental Health Podcasts > Perinatal Mental Health Podcast 3 Transcript

Perinatal Mental Health Podcast 3 Transcript

Episode 3 – Milli and Mark Richards
My journey with Postpartum depression – from recognition to treatment

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Podcast transcript

The perinatal mental health team at Transformation Partners in Health and Care have created a series of podcasts that focus on perinatal mental health. The perinatal period is usually defined as the time between conceiving a baby and 1 to 2 years after giving birth. We know that during this time around, one in five women will experience mental health problems which may begin in pregnancy, during or in the postnatal period.

Perinatal mental health is different for everyone, and people can be affected in many ways. It can often be difficult to recognise the worsening symptoms in the busy days of parenthood. Getting the right help and support is vital. But we know that sometimes it can be hard to know where to find it and how to access it. We understand the importance of beginning and continuing conversations around perinatal mental health by raising awareness of the impact that perinatal mental health problems can have for women, birthing people and their families, and also showing the effects that the right care can have.

We hope that we will be able to reach more people, challenge perceptions and change attitudes towards accessing help. In this episode, we are talking to Milli and Mark Richards about her journey with postpartum depression, the signs and symptoms that she pushed away, and her journey to seeking help and recovery. We’re also going to discuss how often people’s perceptions of what mental illness is don’t always align with what people experience and how it can permeate into many aspects of someone’s life.

We are also joined again by the lovely Chelsea. Chelsea is a mother of two young girls, a military wife, worked as a midwife for three years and now works as a Lived Experience Practitioner for Transformation Partners in Health and Care. And me, Meghan Mathieson, Strategic Communications Manager at TPHC and mother of a little girl born during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you listen to our chat today, some aspects may be triggering and you may feel you identify and relate to what we are discussing and want to find some support. We encourage you to use our website to find support that is local to you. TPHC is not a crisis service, and so in the first instance, we would encourage you to contact your GP, midwife or local services.

So welcome to Milli and her husband Mark. Thank you so much for joining us today. Milli, I wonder if I could ask you to start with sharing a little bit about you, your family, and your motherhood journey.

Hi, Meg, thanks so much for having us. Where to begin? So, we had our first daughter, Ada in 2016, a much-wanted baby. Took us a while to get pregnant. And I loved being a mom. Absolutely. It was like the light of my life. She was a unicorn, baby. So, she slept all the time and was just a joy to be around. And I really, really loved it.

But outside of motherhood, everything else felt incredibly, incredibly hard. And I really struggled with what I now know to be maternal OCD. I had incredibly harrowing and intrusive thoughts that I might harm Ada, and I never spoke to Mark about that at all. And it was a really, really dark time because how do you tell people that you are really happy being a mum, but these thoughts are rushing through your head? And I also felt incredibly overwhelmed. It wasn’t about being a mum that I felt overwhelmed, but everything else.

And I just assumed that that was kind of what motherhood was meant to be like or I guess like I just assumed everyone felt overwhelmed all the time, like I was. Then we fell pregnant the following year. So really quite quickly, which initially had been our plan. And I don’t know, I think I got second thoughts after when we found out I was pregnant, and I started to have second thoughts about whether I wanted to be pregnant.

And those thoughts just got louder and louder and louder. And I, for the whole of my pregnancy, regretted being pregnant, which feels like just the most awful thing to say out loud. And I couldn’t speak to anyone because I had so much shame associated with those thoughts and guilt because so many people around us that we loved were struggling to get pregnant.

So how could I stand and say I keep thinking I don’t want to be pregnant to people? So again, I just kept those thoughts inside and just let them swirl around me feeling guilty all the time. And when eventually she was born, which was March 2018, the only feeling I felt after giving birth was terror. Absolute fear that I had made the worst mistake of my life having this baby.

And I will never forget that feeling of being sat alone in our bedroom while Mark was downstairs trying to tidy up the birth pool and make me a placenta smoothie. And being alone with this baby and just looking at her and thinking, what? what is this? what have we done? and from that point on it, it just went downhill.

I might need to take a breath.

No, absolutely. Mark, were you, did Milli kind of ever let you know about any of these thoughts during her pregnancy or did she just sort of go into herself and just keep them in her head? Were you aware of any of this?

Hi, everyone thinks that having me on, I think, I’m very, I wouldn’t say it’s a word, but it’s trying to piece together the timelines in my head are quite difficult. I would say that there was no, I didn’t get the indication from Milli that there were any intrusive thoughts or anything like that, because I only just heard about that recently, which was, you know, obviously quite a lot to take in. I think that where we had a neighbourhood midwife service, we didn’t have the best support, that supported a pleasant kind of birthing experience or leading up to birth, which I could imagine would be another just if Milli’s feeling that way, another trigger to kind of pile on a mental load, which was obviously very difficult at the time for her to manage on her own. So, I wasn’t aware of the degree at the time, but I’m just trying to remember the, the time where one of the, one of the indications that I got was around the maternal OCD Milli mentioned is that I just started noticing small signs, of like Milli cleaning out the loft, but it’s not, you know, in a very kind of, you know, intense, and it felt like there was a very strong focus on this one item that wasn’t really important with everything else that we had going on. And that was one of the key signs that I felt that something wasn’t right. And the behaviour was very different to what I’ve experienced in the past.

I do vividly remember that the whole loft cleaning, thinking something isn’t right. I remember that Mark and I also really remember him coming home one day. And I had reorganised the entire kitchen because for me, when I get those thoughts I use organising as a way to try to calm my mind. And I remember him coming home and he was like, why is everything in a completely different place?

And then I would lose stuff. And so that would like perpetuate this internal struggle because I would rearrange things and then I would lose the things that I thought I had put in a really important place because they had so much value. And then I would beat myself up because I would lose them and then it was a constant cycle.

And yeah, I, I can remember being nine months pregnant in the loft thinking that if I organised the loft, I would stop thinking these thoughts. It’s sitting here now, five years later. It’s really hard to put myself back in those shoes to think how extreme my behaviour had become. I was just going to say, I guess I have the tendency as well to, like, obsessively clean or tidy when I’m under significant pressure.

So, I guess I probably saw that prompt a little bit from my own experience. Maybe. But yeah, I’d say the internal thoughts previously. But the birthing experience will lead up to birth. I mean, we’re very lucky because Milli’s best friend is a midwife and she’s helped delivered our both children, which we’re extremely lucky and fortunate to have her as a friend and an amazing person to help deliver the babies.

But yeah, it was I could imagine that that behaviour was perpetuated by a difficult birthing experience, I guess. Yeah, it was not the birth, but the lead-up because I, Liz, was our friend, amazing midwife. She and another friend they saw me two days before my due date with a planned home birth and they palpate my belly, only to realise that Winnie had been breeched and no one had picked up on it.

So, then I had to rush to hospital, I had to have an ECV. I was being told I couldn’t have a home birth, you know, all of these additional stresses and things were then feeding into this. I shouldn’t be having this baby. I shouldn’t be having this baby. What am I doing? What am I doing? Everything is wrong.

Well, those factors were fuelling those thoughts. Exactly. And so, after Winnie was born, you know, you both talked really eloquently about the lead up to the birth and things starting to, both of you having, you know, small signals that things weren’t quite, you know, perhaps as they should be. So, after Winnie was born, could you talk us through a bit about sort of what happened then and how things sort of, I guess, escalated in terms of, you know, the way that you were thinking and acting and feeling?

Yeah, that feeling of fear was just the strongest emotion that I felt for the first few days. But I’d spent so many years of my life masking my mental health struggles that I was able to kind of try and pretend and put a brave face on, you know, I could do this. I’ve already had one child.

It’ll be fine. I’ll crack on. Don’t worry. Mark went back to work really quickly after she was born, because he worked for himself, so he didn’t get paternity leave, and I was like, Yeah, I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine. But just something just wasn’t right. I didn’t feel right. And I actually can remember saying to one of our best friends, Alice, like three days after the birth, she was round and I said, I just don’t feel the same for this baby as I did for Ada.

It’s not the same. Something is not right. But I don’t know, Mark if you remember this, that two weeks after Winnie was born, it was my birthday and you called mum, my mum and said, you need to come sooner. And mum walked through the door, and I just cried. I just said, why is this so hard? Why can’t I do this?

What’s wrong with me? I’m not enjoying this at all. It’s really, really, really hard and motherhood is hard. But something was just, it was like, just something just didn’t yeah, just didn’t feel right. And did anyone else say anything to your mum or your friends? Did they? Because I remember when we had this chat before leading up to this, you kind of, something that you were saying a lot was that you were sort of just brushing off saying, Oh, I’m just tired, I’m just tired, which I think, you know, a lot of women can relate to because you think, gosh, I’m so tired.

I just want some sleep. I’m not quite feeling right. But it’s tiredness. It’s tiredness. And I think that’s, you’ve spoken about masking your mental health struggles previously. I think, you know, the talk around tiredness can be that for a lot of women. It’s fine, I’m tired and I think other people think, oh yeah, that’s you know, she’s tired, you know just some sleep and she’ll be okay.

Oh yeah, I mean I did look just kept saying I was just really tired. And when my mum was there, I just sat in my bed the whole time. I remember just lying in bed watching TV, holding Winnie, crying, and Mum saying, I think there’s more to this than your saying. And I said, Mum, she wakes up every 45 minutes, how am I going to be any different to what I am now?

I just feel absolutely exhausted, but I now know as myself now we had a terrible night with our eldest this week where she was up with sickness and I kept being woken up through the night and I woke up the next day and I was like, gosh, I feel really tired. But there weren’t all of those other feelings of like panic, fear, incredible sadness, worry, you know, I just felt tired.

So, I can clearly see the difference now between how I felt then compared to that feeling of I am just exhausted. Yeah, emotions were really intense.

And when we talked before Milli and Mark jump in as well if you want at this point, because I think one that really resonated with me is that transition from 1 to 2 children. And you said you, you know, although there was a little bit brewing with Ada, it was the masking, it was the coping. But then that switched to the second baby and that second responsibility. And, you know, you said you had a lot of fears around what could happen to her. And maybe if Mark says, you know, is this where you started to see a really big change where you were like, okay, we have to get help? Or was there one moment you remember sitting there? You know, I don’t remember if it was your mom or Mark that said, we’re going to make the decision to seek out help.

I said this is the bit that becomes really, really fuzzy for me. I can jump in, and it will probably jog your memory. So, I carried on as I was still trying to pretend that everything was fine and just passing it off as being really tired. And then another two weeks went by. My mum was back down in London, and it was Ada’s birthday. Mark had gone to work. I had people coming over in the day and I just remember being like, I can’t have people here. I don’t want to be around people. I just want to be on my own. I don’t want to look at my children. I can’t be happy. I can’t be joyful in this moment because I really don’t want to be here, which is a horrendous feeling to have for anybody. And especially when you’ve got these two gorgeous kids in front of you and all you want to do is run away and not be there.

And that evening my mum still, she’s amazing my mum, she always, since we had Ada she’ll always say, go on, off you go to the pub, just take an hour you guys need some time to yourself. So, she said I’ll have the kids go off for dinner. And we walked up to the village and sat down in a restaurant that we used to go to all the time and I just looked at Mark and I said, I’m not okay. This isn’t normal what I’m feeling. I don’t know what to do. And I think that was the moment. Then he was like, okay, we’ve got to get help.

Did any of that jog your memory Mark? You know, it definitely did. I think the main thing that I think I probably had to figure out how I could be as supportive as I can be and try and learn on how to be rather supportive rather than trying to tell someone else who is having a hard time what to do or what to feel. So I, I think from that sense, I think we pulled in a bit of private health care initially, which also helped. And I remember Alice’s friend Emily being really supportive in that period of time because we had, with Winnie not sleeping, it was very difficult to get Milli the support while I was working and then keeping Winnie entertained and I think we sat in the car while you were getting the initial support. You drove me so I’m really fortunate, again, I feel like I don’t know, I know I say fortunate all the time, but a friend of a friend found me in the street having gone to the GP after this conversation with Mark and I told her what happened and that GP had said to me, you’ll never get help from perinatal because you’re not ill enough, so you need to go privately.

So, I walked out of this GP practice feeling really kind of defeated because I’d made this huge leap to say, I feel really unwell and bumped into this friend and that moment changed everything because I said to her, I’m struggling. And I knew she had also had a tough time the year before. And she sat with me, and she gave me the number for a psychiatrist. She told me what I needed to do and I went home and made that call and ended up having private, being a day patient at a private psychiatric unit, but that was specifically for adults only. So as Mark said, he had to sit in the car with Winnie. I couldn’t take her with me. So for four weeks every day, I went to the unit and someone had to have Winnie for the time I was in treatment.

So, yeah, that I mean, that in itself was incredibly hard. And I talk openly about my bonding issues with her, but I know that that played a huge part of it. And again, it goes back to this whole thing of I didn’t want this baby narrative that I had created in my head. Well, she was a problem to me because I couldn’t get the help that I needed because she existed, because nobody at any point, despite, you know, openly saying I am you know, I don’t want to be here.

No one said to me, oh, did you know there’s a mother and baby unit where you could go with your child? So instead, I was basically separated from her for the first, you know, for a whole month of her life, every day for four or 5 hours a day, which, yeah, feels really disappointing now, knowing what I know about everything. I wonder, and thank you, thank you for sharing everything you shared so far. I think it’s such, such powerful statements and so important to have Mark’s perspective as well. And I just wondered if you could perhaps go back to the point where you were in that pub and you said to Mark, I’m not okay.

Did you feel different after you’d kind of voiced that and then had made the incredibly brave step to go to the GP and the GP didn’t, didn’t quite say what perhaps he or she should have done and it wasn’t the sort of the next level of support that you needed. But do you feel that when once you kind of voiced that, something, you know, something changed?

Yes, something did change because then, because I put that out there, I then felt able to tell our friends as well. So, I wasn’t carrying it all by myself. It wasn’t eating away inside of me because other people finally knew how bad things actually were. And as Mark said, people just were, our friends were incredible, you know, our best friends cooked loads of meals and came and filled our freezer. Emily, who’s a midwife, who’s a friend of a friend, came and just sat and helped me, came with me to the private unit and looked after the baby. People would come to the, you know, friends would just come to the unit so that they could walk around a park for 2 hours watching the baby like everyone rallied around.

And that in itself made me accept what was happening because for so long I couldn’t accept it because I didn’t ever comprehend or I couldn’t, I couldn’t marry up what I have been suffering with for most of my life with mental illness. Because my perception of what somebody with mental illness looks like is not me. And finally, those two things started coming together. Like, actually, this is something I’m going through. And people accepted it and people supported us. And yeah, it was a big shift. It was a big shift, but it was also a really, I didn’t go from releasing it all and then feeling better. I actually went from releasing it to feeling so much worse because I had been carrying it for so long and there was so much that needed to come out.

So, it kind of like took a downward spiral before I started to get better, which is where Mark got involved, trying desperately to get me the support from perinatal because he could see that the issue was also kind of, well, it was specific to having a baby and the treatment in the private unit was more for the general adults. You know, there was nothing specific about having a child. No one else was there with a five-week-old baby.

I don’t know if Mark realises something he said I wrote down because I just found it so powerful as a partner. So, you said you just listen to her, not tell her how to feel or what to do. And I think, Milli, you and I have talked about that, that feeling of being a burden. And for your husband to say that I think is so powerful because he just took what you were saying and your feelings as fact.

That is in part because I just didn’t know what to do really.

Yeah but that if that’s the only thing you can do, I would say, you know, that if I was going to share something that big with my husband and he just, you know, if that’s the only thing I needed him to do, it would be that Mark. And that’s what you did. And I, you know, that is part of the reason women don’t seek help is because, you know, we are supposed to love this time period. It’s supposed to be great. And we don’t want to burden anybody, especially our partner. So for you, even though it might have, you know, you can say you didn’t know what to do. You did. You did. Absolutely. One of the most powerful kind of statements I think I’ve heard. It’s that validation, isn’t it, that, you know, you didn’t you didn’t try and say, oh, maybe it’s this. So maybe it’s that, you know, you validate that. And I guess for both of you, you know, that was the next step. And maybe I know you say that you kind of, you said that and you let it out and then, you know, it wasn’t plain sailing by far after that. And I wonder if you, you know, you feel able to talk about sort of you say the downward spiral.

But then I wonder if that was maybe the start of getting back some of what you lost and some of the parts of you that you kind of, had hidden. I wonder what things you learned as part of the steps to recovery, which, you know, as you said earlier, when you were tired the other day after a terrible night, you were just you recognised that you were okay, that you didn’t have, you weren’t in the same space as you were five years ago.

Yeah, well, one thing I also just wanted to say, which I’m really grateful to Mark for, and I think other partners could do this, is that you know, for men, they’re really good at the practical stuff, aren’t they? You know, men shy away from the emotion stuff. And obviously, he totally embraced the fact that I was struggling and there was a point when he was taking me to the psychiatric unit and I said I made it all up. None of this is real, turn around. And he looked at me and said Mills I’m not turning around, like the fact that you could even try and say this to me just reinforces why we need to get you this help.

But practically, he was amazing. And I know not everyone could do this, but he asked his work if he could work from home and he worked from home for two months because I was frightened to be with the children. He helped get childcare lined up. He worked with all our friends to kind of have a schedule so that people would come over and that you know, he tried to make life feel as normal as it possibly could, given the circumstances. So, things would still happen and we would do the things that we did before all of this.

You know, people would come round on a Saturday evening and watch TV with me and I might not talk or I might just cry for the whole time. But I still then knew that all of these people were around me. And a lot of that was from Mark. And I think for partners, they don’t necessarily know what to do.

And, you know, thinking about simple, practical things that they can do, like he always brings me a cup of tea in the morning, like he’s always bought me a cup of tea in the morning. He always cleans the kitchen in the morning so that when I get up with the kids, I’m not coming down to a mess like they’re really simple things that you can do that just helps a partner feel supported. But when it comes to kind of the turning point, I was accepted to perinatal in the May. So by this point, Winnie was about two months after Mark had called, this was another thing that I think partners could do actually is they can advocate on behalf of their partner because navigating a mental health system when you’re very unwell is really hard.

You could barely retain any information. So you might have a call with somebody and then put the phone down and have forgotten everything they said. Because you were so anxious that all you were thinking was, I must remember what they said. I must remember what they say. Put the phone down and it’s gone. So having a partner involved in those calls is really, really helpful.

And so that’s what Mark did. He rang perinatal every day and said, please help us, I’m really worried, I’m really worried. And thankfully because of that, I got seen. And once I got into the treatment with them, I mean, it wasn’t a quick fix at all. And I think, you know, it probably took at least five months before I started to feel able to go about life in a way that was manageable.

You know, like the anxiety didn’t keep me stuck in the house. I could drive my car places. I didn’t necessarily enjoy what I was doing because I was still feeling incredibly anxious. But as time went on, I could recognise it was anxiety and then use the coping skills that I had learned through therapy to be like, okay, this is anxiety.

You can get through this. Like you can get to the playground. You are going with other people, there will be, you know, you’ll have friends there, there will be a benefit for doing these things rather than staying in the house, which I had done for so long. Yeah, it took a good year, I’d say, for me to get to a good enough place where I felt back to my old self.

But then I also recognised at that point that I had been anxious for a really long time and just not known that anxiety was driving basically everything in my life. That sounds really bleak. Sorry.

No, it doesn’t, I mean, it’s honest and I think a lot of people listening to this will appreciate you saying that being as honest, because, you know, Chelsea and I have discussed this a lot and especially in this kind of sphere I think a lot of women do hide things away. They do push them away because it is not talked about that much, you know, here and there it is. But I think actually when you listen to someone who has experiences and is talking about it so honestly about the steps that you took, you know, with your husband to get help and to try and make the change is really important to hear.

And I think Chelsea as a lived experience practitioner would definitely sort of advocate for that. Yeah, definitely. And it doesn’t sound bleak to me because I, I do think there’s probably a lot of misconceptions about perinatal mental illness anyways, but then there’s also misconceptions of what it takes to get better. And I think sometimes we try one thing that doesn’t work and we kind of just reflect on it, that it’s something wrong with us. And to hear your journey to say, you know, no, it was it was five months till something maybe clicked and then maybe a whole year later. And I think, Milli, you said before that the help you got really separated the things that, you know, were bothering you, like the anxiety from who you are as a person.

And I think people listening to that, you know, will appreciate that. Sometimes it is a bit of a quicker fix because there’s things you can do to immediately make yourself feel better. In some ways. But sometimes it does. It does take a bit longer. So yeah, I definitely don’t think you sound bleak at all. I think it’s a very honest conversation and it’s great to hear both of your stories through this journey.

And yeah, and I guess if people are listening, you know, we’ve talked a little bit about what partners can do for support in the using of the perinatal team. But what would you say if people are listening and they’re going to make those first kind of conversations with either their partner or a service? How to broach it?

I think go and see someone as soon as possible. Because for me, you know, the reason it took such a long time for me to recover, because I was in treatment for two years and, you know, it took me a year after Winnie was born, before I could even start to discuss the fact that I hadn’t bonded with her.

But if I had dealt with some of the issues I had after I had Ada or if I’d spoken out then, then it wouldn’t have taken so long for me to get better. It wouldn’t have been such a long road. So as soon as you start to have an inkling that hang on a minute, I’m having these recurrent intrusive thoughts about whatever it might be, or my mood is really low and has been consistently now for a, you know, a good month, two months.

That’s the point at which to speak out, because the longer you leave it, the harder it becomes, you know, the bigger the problem becomes. Yeah, the old thing, like a problem shed is a problem halved. Like it’s actually true and people who love you will rally round. I think the sad thing about mental illness is it does make you think you’re a burden and it makes you think no one wants to hear the sadness and no one wants to hear the dark side of life.

And it tricks you into thinking that you shouldn’t share it. And that’s what happened with me. You know, I couldn’t share it because who wants to hear my deepest, darkest thoughts? So, yeah, as soon as you start to feel wobbly, as soon as you have worries, that’s the point to go and talk to your partner and to be as honest as you can, as well as scary as it feels.

You know, I think there’s this huge misconception, and I know I held it, that if you go to the doctor and you say that you’re struggling with your mental health, they’ll ring social services and your baby will be taken away, which is completely not the truth. You know, the mother and baby units are set up to specifically keep the mum and the baby together to help, you know, recover.

But it can really, really hold people back. And I know for me, that was something that I just couldn’t shake. I just thought, oh, God, if I tell them these thoughts I’m having, like, what will happen to me? I might get arrested or, I don’t know, like, you know, that’s what your mind plays these tricks on you. So being dishonest and also, you know, as negative as social media can be, Instagram is amazing for finding information about maternal OCD or OCD, depression, anxiety, whatever mental illness or struggle you’re experiencing.

Search on a hashtag and you will get good resources from legitimate charities and organisations that will help you kind of, I don’t know, identify things that you are experiencing or normalise it. But yeah, speak out. Speak out as early as you can. Don’t wait like I did. Don’t wait to be in a crisis.

Mark, what would you say is, you know, from a male husband, partners perspective what are the main things that now looking back on, reflecting you think yes that helped, that didn’t, someone listening, a partner listening, what would you say to them.

I think going back to the point about when you need guidance, you’re not sure what to do, focusing on what you can do and being practical. Luckily, I again, it probably played into my own kind of coping mechanisms about trying to, you know, do more task oriented orientated things. And when Milli wasn’t getting the response she needed from the service herself, I just being very blunt, I just kept on calling and saying, I’m going to keep on calling you every single day until you see my wife and I’ll keep on calling you.

I will keep on calling you until you get seen. And I think, within I think probably the first time I said that to them, I think they understood that I meant what I said. And that was when I think Milli was onboarded quite quickly after that because she was saying that there wasn’t any space available, or they were up to capacity or the waiting list is x.

And I just basically didn’t take no as an answer. I just kept on going until we got the response we want, which I know is the greatest for the service, I can appreciate the services are under stress, but it was to, it was better coming from the partner because they could see it from another perspective that the behaviour that Milli was displaying wasn’t her. So they felt that was probably another, you know, piece of evidence that made her viable for that service. Or they just didn’t want me to call up every single day, which I would have done.

And Chelsea, do you, you know, in your work, have you seen similar things in partners when you’ve spoken with partners, that is them saying something, something isn’t right, she’s not herself? Does that help sort of piece things together?

Yeah, definitely. As Mark said, it’s a perspective of someone who knows the person best and is saying they aren’t right, or they’re not in the same capacity as they used to be. Like Milli said, she even on the way to the inpatient, said, I’m no, I’m fine. This was all a mistake. And I think we’re very persuasive as women and moms when we want to be sometimes. And knowing when she released all that and knowing it was going to get worse before it got better, I think instantly we just pull back and say, no, never mind. I would just sort it myself. So having a partner just do that advocating for you, it takes one thing off your to-do list and it also kind of says, Hey, no, you’re worth it. Like you are worth the help and support and we’re going to rally around you and get that support for you. So, I think it’s a powerful team. If someone doesn’t have that person and is advocating for their self. You know, I think from this conversation maybe just recognise as well that you are worth it and you might have to fight a bit harder.

But please just go in and seek the support that’s out there for yourself because it is transformative. You will look back and I think there is there’s so much power in Milli’s story. I know her professionally and personally now, and I just couldn’t be prouder of her like the journey she has come on and the women and family she’s supporting now are so lucky.

And it comes from that real internal greatness of she is with us and she’s here and she’s a fantastic mom and probably wife as well. I’ll take Mark’s word for it, but I’m just I’m so grateful that she’s doing the work she’s doing. But it is a credit that she went and got that help. So, it’s just so important to go out and get that help because a lot of us are struggling in silence.

I will just say, I mean, again, I’m just inspired by and proud of Milli from turning what was a really, you know, difficult time for her, and then as you said I couldn’t say it better myself that she’s turned that experience into a way of helping others and what she’s building with Motherly Love and her own journey within her service of providing that support to other people is hugely inspiring.

And yeah, I’m in awe of how she’s done that really, it’s amazing. I think the whole conversation that we’ve had here today has been inspiring in terms of listening to how you both navigated this in a really strong way. And, you know, there were bumps in the road and it wasn’t easy, and it was difficult.

It was tough. But the way that you two can now both reflect on what happened and recognise, you know, where maybe, you know, things should have been done differently but put that into a way of helping other people and changing that narrative and saying, you know, as you both have said, ask, ask for help, don’t push things away.

Try and face them head-on as much as you can. I know that people listening that would have really helped and it might have given someone that push, a partner or someone listening who’s experiencing those things, it might just give them that push. So, I want to say a huge thank you to both of you for taking the time to join us to share some really raw, and truthful and honest experiences about your life in what is the third and final podcast in this series that we’ve been doing to raise awareness of this and speak up and help people.

We will put some links to organisations that you both mentioned and alluded to so that if people need those right now, they can find them and access support. But I think Milli and Mark I think it’s best to leave the final words, the final words with you.

Well, I was actually just thinking, you know, not everybody has a partner, so I have, or not everyone has a partner who is as open to this type of thing as Mark was. And I just wanted to say, you know, it doesn’t have to be your partner if you need someone to advocate for you. I’ve advocated on behalf of friends and I have called services for them because they didn’t have anybody in their, you know, family that was able to do that. So, you know, I know we’ve obviously we’re talking a lot as being a married couple.

And that’s not everyone’s circumstances. So, you know, just think about who you have in your network, who could help and who could advocate for you. Thanks so much for having us. Like, it’s really important to me to share this story because, like I said, I just I hate the thought of anyone else ever going through it.

And that’s why I’m doing the work I’m doing just to keep normalising it and to make other people know they’re not alone and you know, it can, and it does get better. Thank you for having me.

It can and it does get better. I think those are excellent words to finish on. So Milli, Mark and Chelsea thank you very, very much.

Thank you for having us, thank you.