Sunday 8 December 2019

'I'd love to have had something'

She still thinks of him every day.

But when Michelle O'Neill's son Jeff was still-born in September 1999, there were no Memory Boxes, and no photographer from Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to help capture the moment.

"Jeff was my first baby. The pregnancy had been normal and we had no warning -- when I went into labour they checked the heartbeat and suddenly there was none.

"It was a terrible shock. I'd have loved to have had a Memory Box because the shock means you go on autopilot and you don't take things in, so I've very few memories of the birth. I'd have loved to have had something," says the 38-year-old housewife, who went on to have two other children and is planning to establish a Feileacain branch in Waterford.

"A Memory Box would have given me a link to Jeff, something I would have had to look back on. I didn't have anything like that. The nurses took some photographs with an instant camera but the pictures weren't great.

"It would have been fantastic to have a professional photographer who would have taken pictures of Jeff with me.

"It would have been lovely to have had a picture of me holding him. Jeff would have been 12 this September. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him."

Irish Independent

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