Éilís’ Story


My first pregnancy went really well for the first 21 weeks. We were just married & only delighted to be starting our family. That all changed at our anomaly scan when the consultant listed problems with every organ in our baby’s body; problems she explained were “incompatible with life.”

Our options were explained as (a) continue the pregnancy & wait for a still birth or (b) “travel”.

We travelled to Liverpool and at 23 weeks gestation our baby’s heart was stopped & I was induced. I don’t think a lot of people understand that termination at this stage is physically just like a normal delivery. My labour took nearly two whole days and when our little baby girl was delivered, I was shattered mentally & physically. She looked just like me & we called her Summer after the lovely summer we had with my bump.

For me the worst wasn’t over after the delivery. For me leaving that little baby behind & taking a taxi to the airport was the most horrendous part. Like most mothers after childbirth I could barely stand and was completely humiliated when my luggage (ie used hospital bag) was searched. I felt sick and panicky the whole journey home. It’s only now looking back on it that I realise the physical risk to my own health that the flight took.

Our experience was heartbreaking. Truly heartbreaking. But having to go through that in a foreign country was the cruelest form of torture. I will grieve that little baby every day for the rest of my life, and would have regardless of the 8th, but the horror of that journey that was only necessary because of the 8th, will haunt me till the day I die.

A lone woman in an airport

Can you think of someone to share this story with?