Notes on a scandal

It’s funny the things that trigger it off. You think you find a place for the grief, and then you open the Sunday paper and it bleeds out all over the pages.

I won’t go over old ground here. Suffice to say loosing three babies took its toll and took time to try and deal with. When the draw of diving into a depression of grief became too tantalising, I had to make a decision that I wasn’t going to let my losses become the over-riding force in my life. That has to be my gains; our girls, and now my third baby on its way.

But there are still moments. Moments still given over to my lost children; moments that belong to them; moments of longing and lost memories. But they are moments amid the mayhem of life and living, happy loud days where the sound of Daisy singing and Poppy laughing fills the silence. And my moments are easier because I know definitively that my babies were lost. I know absolutely they had died. And I know why. I know my chromosome disorder meant they were never going to live. I am lucky.

For the countless women reading the paper with me today who have also lost babies and do not have those assurances, I cannot imagine their pain. The ultrasound scandal that has jammed the Irish radio airwaves and blackened the newpapers has opened up raw wounds for so many vulnerable parents. As more and more women emerge to tell their tragic stories of being told their babies were dead, booked in for D&C’s, but somehow had the instinct and strength to fight for second opinions only to discover their babies were alive and well, more and more women who didn’t fight, who couldn’t insist, who believed the authority bestowed on medical staff – and will now never know if they lost more than their dreams must be feeling the earth has shifted on its axis.

I have felt my losses all over again this week, and my heart aches for those women forever haunted now by the thoughts of ‘what if’……

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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4 Responses to Notes on a scandal

  1. So well said. It's truly awful, those women have already been through so much and to hear this must dredge everything back up again as they wonder could it have been them. They will never have closure.

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  2. cath c says:

    my goodness! of course we hadn't heard stateside, because we're obsessed with the bp oil spill, but i can only imagine what that must feel like to see this rock through your world and think you may have been one.

    many prayers from another mom who has lost little ones, too, to all the women this is affecting.

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  3. Simply horrible, the roller coaster of uncertainity would be almost impossible to bare. I know i was so lucky, 4 babies from 3 pregnancies, i hold them close & love them to pieces. Good luck with your 3rd – i had 3 girls in a row, they are fantastic, love Posie

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  4. Foodie Mummy says:

    I was absolutely shocked! I kept thinking what if that had been me, would have I had the courage of getting a second opinion. The worst thing about this is that they will never know if their babies were alive and well or not. And I think that uncertainty is going to cause these women more pain. I was shocked at how this could happen in the first place with no double checks, surely that should be standard. How long do you have left now? Hope you're feeling ok. X

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