Hi there, and, welcome to my page, Smiling after PND. My name is Josie Smyth and I live in Melbourne, Victoria. I’m married to Hugh, a town planner and keen golfer! Together, we have two beautiful children Leo (5) and Lily (almost 2). I’m smiling because I have recovered from two experiences of postnatal depression.
I started this blog back in 2015 shortly after recovering from postnatal depression Vol.1, with the intention of sharing my journey through mental illness. Since then, I went on to have another baby (Lily), suffered postnatal depression Vol.2 and recovered. I then started my own business and dived into my Masters of Justice and Criminology. I also volunteer with Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) as a community educator and champion, and, I also volunteer as a mentor with Women and Mentoring. Throughout this very busy period of my life, I like to find time for self-care, fun and laughter with my family.
Please join me as I navigate this life.
I am proud to be talking about my journey through anxiety and postnatal depression. It was an incredibly challenging time having experienced it with both of my children, but, after having gone through it, I am now a better, healthier and happier person and for that, I am grateful. I hope that by sharing my story it will give hope to parents facing the same
When I had Leo I had no idea I was predisposed to postnatal depression due to my family history of mental illness. Not long after coming home from the hospital, my mental state started to go downhill. I was exhausted, yet had trouble sleeping. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” was just not happening. I was kept awake by night sweats and terrible racing thoughts.
“Could something fall into my baby’s bassinet and suffocate him?”, “Maybe his nappy is on too tight and could cut off his circulation”, “Maybe someone could break into the house and kidnap him”, “Maybe he’s too hot, maybe he’s too cold”.
These thoughts would play over and over in my mind.
I had a constant sick feeling, which put me off eating, and I lost a lot of weight. I was irritable and angry, snapping at the smallest things. I felt hopeless and dead inside. I began to isolate myself from family and friends. I would often close all the blinds after my husband left for work.