Wednesday 19 June 2019

'We knew you, we loved you and we will always remember you' - Mum on the pain of losing her baby

A letter from Katie Maher-Barry to the baby she lost in 6/3/2012

Katie Maher-Barry pictured with her family
Katie Maher-Barry pictured with her family

A busy reception but an unsettled vibe. My name was called and it was like just then I knew.

I lay on the bed as the room turned dark. I rolled up and jumper and the jelly on my skin was cold. I blurted out my fears, that until that moment, I truly didn't realise I had even felt. She stayed quiet. Moving around my tummy in sweeping prodding motions. She paused and clicked on a frozen image. She asked me to repeat my dates, dates that would not and could not add up. I was 11 weeks but my tiny baby inside me was only six weeks and four days. I had to wait another seven days before it could be confirmed. Erring on the side of caution was what I was told. But truly, listening to my body, I knew. My symptoms had gone. My breasts no longer readied themselves, the nauseating feelings had left me, along with you my baby. I didn't need another seven days, I was your mother.

If I had known before I would have brought your Dad but even he did not think it could be this. Until I had entered that room, I had not felt any fear. I stepped out of the room with my appointment for seven days time. I walked and sobbed my way alone through the glass corridors and down to the elevator. Trying my best to hold on tight, depsite the crushing emotion.

I walked through reception, my head hung low to disguise my reddened face and shivering lip. I waiting for the elevator to take me to the car park. I paid and walked to my car. Disbelief was my only thought. I drove fast and out of the hospital. Wanting nothing more than to get away from there.

I so looked forward to having my rounded belly, knowing you were safe and warm wrapped up inside me - proud to be pregnant, but I had not made it that far. To look I had not changed, my baggy tops concealed you from the world. But I had shouted my delight of your arrival from the roof tops once I knew you were coming. I could not conceal my emotions like I could do my tummy. Now people would ask, awkward moments would be in an abundance. You had gone to heaven already, you lay safe in your grandfather's hands. He would mind you until it is our turn to meet, little one.

I had kissed your sleeping eyes, I had breathed the same air. I had traced your rose bud lips with my fingers, as you snoozed on my tender breast. I had opened your tiny hand and felt you clasp my baby finger. I had smelled your baby hair, I had touched your tender crown. We had named you, you were alive, you were mine.

Some have lived far longer than you but have not been loved as much. We knew you, we loved you, we will always remember you.

Ciaran, Katie and your big Brother Reuben and now a baby brother Charlie

* INM has a dedicated section where parents of all ages can share their stories of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. The section will serve as a

testament to the women and men who share their stories, a memorial for the babies lost and as a resource for other people who have gone through or are going through the experience.

Your stories can be anonymous or on the record and nothing will be published in any format without prior consultation with you. If you would like to be part of this and tell your story, email Yvonne Hogan at yhogan@

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