Published Wednesday, 11 December 2013
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.
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.
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