TRANSITIONING from a career forged in helping the elderly to study ways to help mothers and carers cope with newborn babies, there is no doubt why Meg Driscoll is labelled as a caring person.
Her patience and determination for results can't be faulted - but even she is the first to admit when entering into motherhood in 2021 she was not as well prepared to cope with the challenges ahead.
Prior to becoming Mum to Lola, she worked over 80 long hours a fortnight and was very passionate about her job in aged care, leading a team of 10-15 staff.
"I was, and still am, really proud of the career I've built. In fact, I'm so passionate about what I do that I worked right up to 38 weeks, and even then, still wasn't ready to walk out the doors and start my new chapter," Mrs Driscoll said.
"I was independent and all of a sudden there was a whole new world that I was meant to fall into."
After a stressful birth, a few months passed, Mrs Driscoll and her husband Ash were running off adrenaline and learning the ropes of parents but then came the extreme sleep deprivation.
"Lola hit that point where she would only take 30-minute cat naps during the day, was up every hour during the night, and the only way to get her to sleep longer was by having her on me," she said.
Mrs Driscoll said she got to a point where the sleep deprivation became postnatal depression.
"The thought of a new day and doing it all again I just couldn't handle," she said.
"When I saw Ash walk out the door for work each morning, I'd just burst into tears.
"I never wanted to harm Lola, but I always felt she'd be better off without me.
"Thankfully my husband and I did recognise that I couldn't continue feeling this way and spoke to the maternal child health nurse who referred me for a further assessment.
"It was then suggested that I go to a Mother and Family Unit in Ballarat to get some help and rest."
Feeling ashamed, scared and every other emotion, Mrs Driscoll said she went and got admitted.
"I felt like a huge failure for ending up there," she said.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be in a mental health facility. We are so lucky to have these services looking out for us mothers and bubs.
"This particular facility didn't work out for us, but I'm so glad I tried it and started the process of getting the additional care I needed."
On proper medication, with good support around her, and Lola slightly improving with her sleep, Mrs Driscoll was re-energised enough to keep going.
"Desperate to further improve Lola's sleep, I spent a lot of money on sleep programs and sleep consults, but I found a lot were either straight to the point - 'do it this way or no way' - or just didn't give me the support I needed," she said.
"I wanted someone to come to my house and help but there was just no one willing to come out here."
And so, Lullaby Lola was born.
"I wanted to create a support service where people can recreate a situation at home, the same as it happens in real life rather than having to go into a clinical environment which is very different to your life at home," Mrs Driscoll said.
"A lot of my consults will be at home and I want to be there via text so I can help straight away. I want to be readily available.
"That's what I found - some consults there was a limit of two texts a day. Sometimes it might be a simple question to ease your anxiety but you feel like you've reached your limit on help."
Mrs Driscoll said her vision was to help others not hit the low she did.
"I never thought I would do something like this but motherhood does change you and open your eyes to a whole new world," she said.
"I absolutely love it. I've done some practice clients and I've had a lot of messages while waiting to launch."
Launching the business on May 9, Mrs Driscoll returned to studying while looking after Lola at home and finished her courses before she returned to her role in Aged Care from maternity leave.
Mrs Driscoll said despite her achievements, she wanted people to know that all situations and babies were different.
"There are totally different styles of parenting and wishes from parents," she said.
"My role is to listen and understand what those styles and wishes are and from there work with parents and carers in establishing good habits that would work for them.
"It's identifying ways to balance the new baby and making sure the parents and carers are looking after themselves away."
For more information head to www.lullabylola.com.au.
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