Saturday 10 December 2016

A prayer for my daughter

When Brendan O'Connor and Sarah Caden's daughter was born two weeks ago with Down Syndrome she broke their hearts, but every day, she mends them a little bit more

Published 12/09/2010 | 05:00

Brendan O'Connor
Brendan O'Connor

IT FEELS disloyal and unfair to Mary now, two weeks on, to look back on her birth, and how it was like a scary film. But that is where it started. That is where Mary's story started and where our story took a fairly unexpected turn. Thursday two weeks ago, we went into Holles Street in the morning, tentative but full of hope; and by two o'clock, our hearts were broken and our lives were turned upside down.

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It still upsets me a lot to think about that half-hour, but images from it are burned on my brain -- only for now, hopefully. Sometimes, depending on what kind of a day I am having, it still makes me cry. At the moment, we cry a little bit more than we used to in our house. It can be anything from just looking at Anna, the toddler, to a kind word, to seeing someone with their baby -- lots of everyday things.

When Mary came out, the anaesthetist actually said to one of the doctors to hold on to her because she was jumping around so much. Sarah, lying cut open on the table, said, so she's not floppy. It seemed she wasn't. And she was a girl.

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