Diary of losing a baby: One woman writes about her devastating pregnancy and lack of acre in in Ireland

LAURA MCGLYNN SAYS she was disgusted to hear last week that Clare Daly’s bill is unlikely to pass through the Dáil. As a woman who has been through a termination for medical reasons, she fights passionately for better care for women in Ireland.

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Has Ireland still not learned the lessons of the past-with regard to  Pregnancy and supportive care 

 My story is below from some 35 years ago 

I know only too well the pain; sorrow - the long lasting grief that overtakes women that gives birth to a stillborn child.
I lost a little girl the year the Pope came to Ireland in 1979; she lived for 2 minutes. 
When I went back to see the Consultant for the reasons why ; she said ; 'unfortunately- there was no real medical reason why my baby died; if she had have been on Duty ; I would have performed a c. section. Wow. There no reason for my baby to have died .mind boggling news when a women is at her most vulnerable. As the Consultant [a women] sat writing in my medical notes ; I sat and waited to hear if they were going to offer me some counselling …….. No … when she managed to look up from my notes … she said; ‘is there anything else’

Trauma and grief did not allow me to think straight - for me to respond to her and I just got up and left ; fell in my husband’s arms  and wept .he had not been allowed to come in with me to hear the results . He wanted to go back in to see this Consultant but was told; he would have to wait until she was finished with her patients. I pleaded with him for us to go home to my other two children where I knew I could cry in private; so we left

For months and months afterwards I walked around in a cloud of grief; everyone I met had some advice for me ; ‘oh you will soon get over it ‘ or well you did not really know the baby ‘ well-meaning as all these people were – I did not want to listen to this ; so I stopped speaking about my pain, my lovely baby girl who was lying in a grave, instead of being pushed in the pram that I had washed and made ready with all the knitted garments that I had so lovingly  knitted. Of course I had known her; she had been with me for nine months !!!

The following year I had a baby boy; all everyone could say to me was - oh it’s a shame it’s not a little girl; I wanted to scream at them, he is alive and well.

18months later I became pregnant again; and at 5 half months I was told my baby had died.. Once again I was traumatized / grief stricken; and gave birth to a little boy. Once again I went to see the Consultant for some answers; this time it was male- once again I did not get any; other than he said ‘ oh these things happen ‘  he did not expand on this few words .

  Not expecting any support from a male Consultant; he surprised me by telling me that they had a support unit on site and I could go there straight away.  Somehow they had become more aware of the need for grief counselling for women who had given birth to a still born child. However that one hour of counselling I received was all I was offered- no further appointments were made for me.  Thankfully my sister Anne was very supportive and minded the other children for me when I was in Hospital; and it was too her house I went to cry all over again.

Thirty five years on from this - I still find myself wondering and thinking what I could have done to have saved my babies;  if it was something that I had or had not done that had caused them to die ---   they are always with me in my heart and soul.

My heart goes out to the young woman whose story has prompted me to write this. I have rarely if ever spoken about my loss as it was far too painful. Now- knowing what this young lady has suffered so much in Ireland ; it was time to purge myself of this pain. .

 

Sláinte 

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