'I'm an emotional wreck watching The Rotunda' - RTE's maternity series is an impassioned hit
RTE's new series which goes behind the scenes at the Rotunda has proved to be a runaway hit with viewers.
Camera crews were granted unprecedented access at the world's longest running maternity hospital in Dublin for an emotional rollercoaster captured in a 60 minute episode; covering the joy of birth, the struggles of labour, but perhaps most pertinently, it covered the loss of a baby in a respectful manner, which viewers praised.
In Thursday night's debut episode, Áine and Arno, from Co Monaghan, were expecting their third child but tragically lost baby Malachy at 33 weeks and shared their experiences with the production team. The show tactfully covered the couple's journey after learning their baby had a fatal foetal abnormality and was not likely to live outside the womb to his passing.
The programme also covered three other women's birthing experiences: Nicola, who is preparing to give birth to her fourth, with her mother Kay, a character of such genuine enthusiasm you couldn't cast if you tried, by her side as her birthing partner. Shauna, who is expecting her first child with fiancé Daryl, also had her experience documented.
Overall, the response on social media was overwhelmingly positive, starting a discussion about the vastly underpaid midwives in our healthcare system and a general appreciation for women's strength.
For a couple who have received devastating news that their baby has an anomaly to allow a camera crew into their lives is just so brave but so important for people to see the quality of care available in hospitals like #TheRotunda— Siobhán de Paor (@SiobhandeP) September 13, 2018
What a heartbreaking story but such a brave couple. Balling as my babs kicks the bejaysus out of me. Every kick I’m even more thankful for now. 😥 #TheRotunda— Aoife Ryan (@yddib) September 13, 2018
We need more openness about and understanding for perinatal loss. This is a hard but important topic. Thank you #theRotunda— Niamh Ní Caiside (@niamhok) September 13, 2018
Incredibly brave couple to share the loss of baby Malachy on #TheRotunda - so hard to watch but so important to hear these stories ❤️— Lauren Kelly (@LaurenKellyOSul) September 13, 2018
It's quite incredible to see a C-section at #TheRotunda from the other side of the robe-curtain. And as for the wonderful #wearedelivering teams who work there, day after gruelling day, with a different set of circumstances, emotions and realities behind every door.— Joyce Hickey (@JoyceHickey) September 13, 2018
I’m an emotional mess watching #therotunda. Women really are incredible.— TheBeautifulTruth.ie (@thebeauttruth) September 13, 2018
The strength of the women and their families who come through here every day is incredible and inspiring and keeps us going. #TheRotunda— The Rotunda Hospital (@RotundaHospital) September 13, 2018
Very proud of my friends and colleagues @RotundaHospital. On a day where women’s services are in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, it’s important to remember the amazing work we all do #TheRotunda #wearedelivering— Aoife Mullally (@AoifeMullally) September 13, 2018
It's well worth a watch - just make sure you have a box of tissues next time.
Viewing figures show that an average of 134,000 people watched The Rotunda last night, 70% of which were female, RTE told independent.ie.
The six-part series continues next Thursday on RTÉ2 at 9.30pm