Mum's heartbreak after birth trauma

Published Wednesday, 11 December 2013
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The mother of a baby boy who suffered horrifying injuries during his birth at Belfast's Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital - the details of which viewers are warned they may find disturbing - has spoken of her heartbreak to UTV.

Mum's heartbreak after birth trauma
Louise Ireland talks to UTV. (© UTV)

Louise Ireland endured a difficult delivery, with her partner Patrick McCormack by her side.

"I kept saying: 'I can't - someone please help me.' I needed help getting the baby out," she recalled, in an emotional interview just 48 hours later.

"I knew I couldn't get him out on my own."

The couple were aware that the outcome of the pregnancy could be a tragic one, having been told from early on that their baby - whom they have named Liam James - had fluid gathering in his stomach.

Medical staff put his chances of survival at just 5%, but nothing could have prepared the couple for what happened in the delivery suite.

"I went into hospital to have him and I knew the possibility of him living wasn't certain, but just the way that it's all happened ... It's made it a lot worse," Louise said.

As medical staff worked to deliver the baby, the child's head came away from his body in full view of his stunned father. He had to explain to his partner why she couldn't hold their baby.

"It was heartbreaking. That was all I wanted," Louise said.

"Even if he had been stillborn, I still could have held him. But I felt that was robbed from me."

The staff that were there that night, I do feel for them because they're traumatised too.

Louise Ireland

The couple had repeatedly requested a Caesarian section throughout the pregnancy, given the circumstances involving the fluid that had been gathering.

They were refused by medical staff who said it could lead to complications and are now calling for an inquest into their son's death.

The Belfast Trust believes that the baby was clinically dead at the point of delivery, but details will not be confirmed until autopsy results are disclosed. A post mortem has been carried out.

In a statement, the Belfast Trust offered its sympathies to the family and has also moved to reassure other pregnant women and their families.

"We do not underestimate how painful this situation is for them, and will continue to take all possible steps to help and support this family in the coming weeks," a spokeswoman said.

"While we recognise the concerns that women planning to have care within the maternity services may have as a result of recent publicity, we would seek to reassure them that the circumstances in this particular delivery were extremely rare."

It is understood that such an incident has not occurred in 15 years within the Belfast Trust area.

© UTV News
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62 Comments
clare in exmouth wrote (344 days ago):
What truly lovely parents you both are with your consideration for others involved even with your own sadness at what has happened.your girls are very lucky and I hope you all are able to help each other my thoughts are with you and you are completely right to wants answers.i admire your strength x
Peter Mc Cormack in belfast wrote (345 days ago):
We as a family would like to take the opportunity to thank each & every person for taking the time to make such lovely comments for Patrick & Louise.... They asked me to thank u all as they haven't the strength nor will to do anything at the minute....so thank u all and we hope and pray that no family should or will ever experience this in this time or age and never again.... we also hope and pray that these nurses and doctors who were also went through A traumatic time will learn to live and get past this cause we know they shouldn't have saw what they also saw. Baby Liam Twinkle Twinkle wee man xxxxx
Mary B. Kerr in Lisburn wrote (345 days ago):
My sincerest sympathies go out to Louise and Patrick on the tragic loss of their little Baby Liam Joseph.To lose a child at any time doesn't bear thinking about, but to have a baby under such dreadful circumstances be taken from you, must be one of the most heartbreaking and profoundly difficult experiencies that any family should have to endure.May your little one rest in peace and look over and guide you, although his time was brief, this was his destiny and he will always be around you.
Niamh Byrne in Dublin Ireland wrote (345 days ago):
This is heartbreaking but, the fact that you even sympathized with the nurses on duty shows what a kind- hearted person and compassionate person you are, and if there is a God out there,I am hoping that you both will be strong enough to get through this. All my thoughts are with you xxxxx
Parents in Newry wrote (346 days ago):
To parents from parents, we all know the joy and excitement as well as the worry and fear that Is experienced when we discover the miracle of having conceived. Yet you both were forced to be brave and courageous when you received the devastating blow that the chances of your little baby living were not good. We could not EVER possibly imagine how you managed to carry this trauma throughout your pregnancy, you both have been unbelievably strong. Then to experience the trauma of little,gentle Liams sad and scary birth is something no parent would ever want to have to face. So as parents, who know how it feels to make and love a child, we can only tell you, we feel for you, we are sorry for you that this has happened, we will pray for you and your entire family circles. This experience will scar you forever and the loss of the future and potential Liam might have had will always exist. Some say time helps heal the wounds, but the scars always remain. We hope in time you learn to cope with the terrible sadness associated with Losing your baby and the scars that have made their mark on your souls serve to remind you that your perfect little angel is close to your hearts and still with you in spirit. God bless all of you at this shocking and difficult time xxxxx
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