'I'm giving birth in two weeks but don't know where to go'
TARA O'Connor was due to give birth at Mount Carmel on February 6 but is still unsure where she should go instead.
The Dublin socialite and PR consultant admits it has been a "nightmare few days" since news broke that the facility is to shut down.
"I'm due in the next couple of weeks and I was scheduled to have the baby there," said the 40-year-old who has been married to her husband, businessman Andrew Reynolds, for six years.
She added: "I've taken matters into my own hands and booked elsewhere, but I'd still like to know what they have planned to do with me.
"I've managed to speak to my consultant now. It looks like all of the obstetricians are going to the Coombe, but I've had a complicated pregnancy and they can't get a theatre date for me there at the minute so I've made an appointment with Holles Street as well."
Her dilemma is similar to those of dozens more mothers who were scheduled to give birth at the south Dublin private hospital in the coming weeks.
"They took my money off me last Tuesday, the balance of my payment and my obstetrician is paid in full," Tara said. "But it's not the money that's important, it's about the health of my baby.
"Mount Carmel is a wonderful hospital and I not only had my son JP there, I've had a number of procedures there over the years and the staff are just so nice and so warm.
"It's just total uncertainty. I know I will be looked after but it's just the uncertainty that's stressful."
However, despite admitting that she is a "worrier by nature", Tara remains stoic.
"I will be fine, there are three excellent maternity hospitals in Dublin and one of them will accommodate me, but it's the staff (at Mount Carmel) I feel for."
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