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Sunday 18 February 2018

Irish woman tells distressing story of miscarrying abroad before bringing foetus home and burying it twice

Warning: this article contains details which some readers may find distressing

A woman called Wendy called Joe Duffy on Liveline today to discuss her experience. She gave a detailed account of the miscarriage and the subsequent burials. (Stock photo)
A woman called Wendy called Joe Duffy on Liveline today to discuss her experience. She gave a detailed account of the miscarriage and the subsequent burials. (Stock photo)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

An Irish woman who had a miscarriage while on holidays in Spain has shared her story of bringing the foetus home and burying it on family property before exhuming the grave after separating from her husband.

A woman called Wendy called Joe Duffy on Liveline today to discuss her experience. She gave a detailed account of the initial experience and the subsequent burials. 

"In 2006 I went away... I became unwell and I was pregnant... I went into hospital and they just said to go back to the apartment and rest... In the morning, the baby came, I was between 13 and 14 weeks pregnant so I wasn't very far gone.

"I was very distressed and obviously my children were also. An ambulance came and took me to a maternity hospital and the people at the hotel we were staying in looked after my children."

A highly stressed Wendy miscarried and brought the the remains back from Spain with her.

"I wrapped the little one in some fabric, I had to put it on the side in the bathroom so I went straight back in there [and got the remains].

"... I was distressed, it was part of me and I didn't want to leave it behind and I brought it home, then I didn't know what to do. I panicked."

Read more: Specialist counselling offered to mothers and families over child bereavement

A small ceremony was performed as Wendy buried the foetus on the family's property.

"People knew I was pregnant, I was jumping for joy. They knew I lost a baby. I didn't broadcast that I brought the baby back. I kept it in a fridge, until one of my friends said "come on, we have to do something here, it is important."

"It was within a couple of weeks [we came home]. We had a little ceremony. We did it ourselves....  It was special, it was what we did."

This caused further stress for Wendy after her marriage ended years later as she felt as though she was leaving part of herself behind.

"I separated from my husband a few years after that. It then became an issue because I was no longer where I buried [the child].

"It was a problem between us then... I approached the story with my counsellor. She was distressed. It was an upsetting time, I came away and I knew then that I had to do something.

"With the help from my partner and my girls I went to Newslands Cross Cemetery ... [I] explained the situation and said I want to have the grave open."

Wendy told Liveline that the remains were removed and relocated, which brought her some closure.

"I had a ceremony with just myself and my girls. My partner brought us there. We said a few prayers.

"I was worried for years. It was 2006 when I lost it, it was 2014 before I managed to bury in a new grave," she said.

She added: "I just felt that it was better."

If you've been affected by this article, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org

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