The Horrific Reality Faced By Limerick Women and Families Every Day

This post is emotive and may be triggering for some people. If you are feeling particularly vulnerable at this time I would urge you NOT to read this post.

In recent weeks I have become aware of a campaign, whose mere existence breaks my heart. Not only because of the delicate, soul destroying nature of the topic at hand but because this group even have to ask for such a thing in the first place. If you ever needed a shred of proof that this country treats its citizens, in particular women, appallingly then look no further than this post.

I have been scrolling through the timeline of this Facebook page and though I do not have children myself I cannot even begin to identify with the horrific tales of woe that are shared there. Even more tragic is the sheer number of these stories, these are not isolated incidents, these have become a tragic norm.

I ignorantly assumed that such a thing would exist. That in this day and age no families horrific grief would be added to by a lack of facilities. If I even started to look into the money that is squandered by our government and illustrated how a tiny percentage would go towards helping people on the most devastating day of their lives, I do believe I would explode with black out rage.

This post is emotive and may be  triggering for some people. If you are feeling particularly vulnerable at this time I would urge you NOT to read this post.

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What I have outlined below is happening every day at the University Maternity Hospital Limerick. The stories are as countless as the grief and trauma suffered by the families involved.

We desperately need a separate Baby Loss Facility to ensure that women, their babies and their families are taken care of emotionally and physically. The HSE are failing women and contributing to their pain, hurt and trauma in a way that is unnecessary and avoidable.

I urge you to support the “Campaign for Separate Baby Loss Facility at UMHL”

About the Campaign:

We, as a collective group, are calling on the HSE and to grant the funding required setup a temporary Baby Loss Facility, as discussed and outlined by staff, while we wait for the building of the new hospital in Dooradoyle.

We further call on the HSE and to acknowledge that the basic health and care of women who suffer a baby loss is not being met, and to provide a separate Baby Loss Facility at the new hospital in Dooradoyle.

Please show your support by ‘liking’ and sharing our page.

Facebook

Please also send an email to:
-> mary.obrien@hse.ie

The Director General
Manager

-> Make sure you CC
Margaret.quigley@hse.ie the Director of
Midwifery.

WARNING: If you have suffered a loss the following may be upsetting or trigger emotions. Please join our private group for support by clicking here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/540314082656610/

You rush to the hospital. Bleeding, cramps, reduced movements .. mind in a panic, heart racing, sweating and repeating “please be ok, please be ok, please be ok…” over and over in your mind.

You arrive and have to wait in reception. You avoid looking at the other women, silently begging everyone, anyone, that everything will be ok. Your name is called. The nurse apologizes that the little room they normally use for ‘such circumstance’ is not available. You are asked to get up onto a bed. You hear a woman in labour in the bed to the right of you, just a curtain separating you both, you listen to her breathing through her contractions.

You hear a foetal heart monitor ringing out that beautiful rhythm of an unborn baby’s heartbeat. You note how fast it is. You get a little lost in the sound, pretending, just momentarily, it’s your baby on the monitor. With a jolt you are back to reality. You note the concerned look on the midwifes face and wait to see what’s next.

This is what its like going into admissions in UMHL during a miscarriage or under other similar circumstances.

You are sitting in a waiting room surrounded by pregnant women, you glance around at all the different sized bumps, your heart shattered into a million pieces. Everyone looks at you momentarily and then one by one they turn away. While turning away, and without even realising they are doing it, they place their hands protectively over their growing bumps. The anguish written all over your face, the tears spill over and fall down your cheeks.

Should you stay or should you stand outside? You don’t want to upset anyone but you are afraid to move. Filled with a range of emotions you concentrate on stopping the room from spinning and your mind from going insane.

This is what its like waiting for a scan at UMHL to find out, or to confirm, your unborn Baby’s heart is no longer beating.

“I’m sorry there is no heartbeat” … silence … numb ….

You are given your file and you walk back up from the basement to the ground floor. You hear new babies crying, you see the celebratory balloons and flowers, you see and hear all the excitement, the new babies in their shiny new car seats going home for the first time….

You walk, one foot in front of the other, up the stairs, devastated, crushed, confused and so very frightened.

You are grateful for what they call the Snow Drop Room. It’s something at least. The nurse is so kind. You have to wait for a doctor. After what feels like a lifetime the door opens. A different nurse comes in and asks if you wouldn’t mind waiting outside in the waiting area, as they have another poor woman and it appears she had a “more significant loss”. You nod confused and step out into the waiting area and you wait there instead. Through controlled tears you watch the comings and goings through the main door of a large University Maternity Hospital. You never felt so alone and so like running out of that door and never coming back in all your life, but you stay. You stay because you have no choice, you don’t know what to expect next and your brain just can’t even think straight and is in a complete haze and fog.

This is the reality of so many who attend University Maternity Hospital Limerick.

We must come together and be the change that is needed.

Please stand with us to support each other and break the silence.

Pauline Gannon

In association with, for and on behalf of members & volunteers of:

The Grieving Hearts Foundation
18 Newtown Mews
Castletroy
Co. Limerick
Tel: 0868371132

“Supporting families who have suffered the trauma of a Baby Loss in UMHL”

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