Daughter Aurora’s arrival comes after five miscarriages
Cork author Stefanie Preissner has spoken of a ‘complex cocktail of emotions’ after giving birth to her first baby last month, a birth which followed five miscarriages.
Stefanie, who hails from Mallow where her mother still lives, and her husband Noel Byrne welcomed their daughter Aurora (Rori) into the world on September 20. They had kept the pregnancy secret during the nine months as ‘at anytime something could have gone wrong’.
“It has been a journey full of despair, fear and anxiety,” Stefanie posted on her Instagram account at the weekend.
The writer of TV comedy hits such as ‘Can’t Cope Won’t Cope’ and a number of books as well as a Sunday Indepedent column paid tribute to the team at the National Maternity Hospital who guided herself and her husband, Noel Byrne, through her pregnancy.
On dealing with the pregnancy losses, Stefanie said she and her husband “got through it one day at a time and we are so much stronger for it”.
“Noel has been through every positive pregnancy test, every miscarriage, every injection.”
Being pregnant with Rori “was like the first time driving on a road again having had an accident”, in which she was “full of trepidation, intrusive memories and anxiety which override the hope”.
For the first 24 weeks, she says the “feeling of responsibility and fear that I would let Rori down came in overwhelming surges”.
Her mental health suffered, which is why she had to “incubate” herself “from the onslaught of advice and opinion that comes with being pregnant as it was my only way of coping”.
Another reason for not publicly revealing her pregnancy was because such announcements could,’break the hearts of women who see them if they’re going through infertility, fertility issues, miscarriage or pregnancy after loss”.
“It’s like being at the baggage carousel at the airport and everyone is collecting their luggage and you’re still there watching, waiting with fear and sadness and fury,” she said.
Having had an emergency C-section, Stefanie and Noel heard Rori before they saw her and “both got emotional”.
“She settled on top of me, I think I sang to her and Noel leaned in and that felt like our first moment as a family... we had finally made it safely to the finish line.”
Still missing her beloved grandmother Eileen Keary who died three years ago, Preissner says she was talking to her throughout her pregnancy and Rori’s birth.
“I’d walk the corridors of Holles Streeton the way to a scan or to therapy and ask her for help to just get to the end of the hallway. I called on her to lift me up and help me every day, so when Rori arrived I thanked her and I felt sad that they’ll never meet.”