Melissa's Story

Being a mum is the hardest job in the world.

They say being a mum is the most natural thing in the world. But no one tells you about the roller coaster of emotions that occur when you have a baby and how sometimes it can so easily overwhelm you.

Also, when your family is a long plane ride away and you’re a good half hour from the nearest town, the isolation can be awful.

That’s what happened to me after I had my second baby Tommy. He was born six weeks premature which was such a shock. I just hadn’t had the preparation time that those last weeks bring.

Our little baby had breathing difficulties and had to spend two weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit – so we had an anxious start to his life. When it was time to take him home I was constantly worried. With him arriving so early, how would I know if I was caring for him properly? All of the usual baby milestones had gone out the window. How could I give him the attention he needed and still look after my two year old, Elena? I was so worried. I’d suffered with depression in the past and I was frightened it may happen again.

My husband Karl was fantastic but needed to get back to work at some stage and I didn’t feel like I could burden him with my worries. Thankfully there was one person I could turn to and I will be forever grateful for her – Anita my Plunket nurse.

Anita was an angel. After I was home with Tommy she was in contact to work out the best time to come and see us. You can’t imagine the relief I felt just having her there. Even though we live so far out of town she made the trip out to see me and answer any questions I had. I was so scared of doing the wrong thing that I was even too nervous to take him outside. Anita was amazing – she put my mind at rest checking his development along the way and reassuring me he was doing just fine.

Plunket is such an amazing organisation. Anita is there for support and I can ring PlunketLine 0800 933 922 at any time for advice and they are always patient and caring. When I was in town I knew I’d be able to head to the Plunket rooms to breastfeed or even just for some time out. The Plunket team even contacts me to remind me about Tommy’s checkups. I also did a baby massage course there which was just so lovely. Karl met Anita several times and he felt so much happier knowing that such a capable and caring lady would always be there for us whenever we needed her.

Elena is at preschool now and I’m thinking of getting back into painting and craftwork which I love. Anita has become such a friend and having her standing beside us has given me the confidence to move forward with my life. She has always reassured me that I am a good mum it’s just that all of us need a helping hand now and again.

When you have a baby your own mother’s support and advice is invaluable, but when she lives on the other side of the country you miss that. You miss having a family around you. Luckily for us Anita and Plunket have been like a family to us.

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