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The beauty of motherhood , the preciousness of life.

 

Welcome, Joan Margaret: 11.07.2019

 

We’ve been waiting for you after two long years; after finding out we were pregnant and losing the baby right away. It was a physically painful miscarriage and took me by surprise. But a few months later I had a positive pregnancy test and was filled with hope. Twelve weeks in we lost her too. The loss brought on a serious hemorrhage that landed me in an ambulance being rushed into surgery to stop the bleeding. It was intense and scary and life changing. John Michael (15.09.17) and Faustina Therese (25.05.18) rest peacefully buried in a garden where I visit them often with flowers and prayers of thanksgiving for their short but precious lives. My sweet babies.

After a pilgrimage to France you came. They said you were too small and that I was losing you too. But every time we checked your heart kept beating and every time I heard it I could breath too. And you grew and grew…until you were placed in my arms on 11.07.19.

The surgery went poorly. The anesthesia didn’t take well and I felt the cutting and tugging and pulling of the C-section. I went into labor and my contracting made it difficult to get you out, so they had to use a vacuum. I was throwing up and moaning in pain, wishing the anesthesiologist could do something but we were too far along in the process. There were adhesions and scar tissue from my past surgeries, making this one extra long and very difficult for the surgeons. They took you out and placed you in your father’s arms to hold next to my face, but I was too sick and they had to take you away while I stabilized. When the surgery was over I rolled into recovery where you were skin to skin on your father’s chest, where he prayed out loud for you and I. You rested peacefully in his arms; a moment that seemed to pause time; a moment I will never forget… and I finally could nurse you.

We went to rest. But the next day I was sick. My stomach became hard and hot and I couldn’t walk or stand. The doctors came in, swarmed around me trying to figure out what was wrong. They tried all kinds of things to cool my stomach but nothing worked. Hours later the doctors came back again disturbed at my state. They said the ultrasound showed that I was either bleeding internally or had a hernia from the C-section cutting through so many layers, and that they needed to have me go for a CT scan immediately. I called your father in tears, he rushed in and they took me for the scan. They saw that the surgery left a large hole causing a bad hernia and they needed to re-do the whole operation to get to that layer and fix it. He came and held you, through all of this you peacefully slept and nursed when given the opportunity. You never cried.

Saturday, late into the night, I had my second two hour long operation. I was put under general anesthesia. I had three IV’s, shots of blood thinner and a tube put down my throat. I woke up feeling better despite it all. I went back into recovery, this time with two surgeries behind me, both in the same place, cutting through the same layers. I begged to go home and on Monday afternoon they hesitantly let me.

But Wednesday night came around and my stomach hardened again and I had to be readmitted to the hospital. I was so scared of a third operation but God spared me. I had a blood clot causing swelling and after a second scan they found I had a gap between my muscles in one of the layers from the C-section. And because of this gap it makes it very dangerous for my uterus to expand ever again. The gap can only be fixed with a surgery, a third surgery no one was willing to put me through. Thank God. Between the muscle gap, the C-section related hernia, the adhesion of organs, and scar tissue, and more, things looked rough. After all of this I had five different doctors gently and sadly tell me that I cannot have any more children.

Joan Margaret, you are a treasure. You were worth all of it and more and I’d do it all over again for the gift of you.

Every human life is a gift. Every life is precious. Every baby is a miracle. Pro Life.

Megan Madden

 


Joan Margaret Madden ♥

09.04.2019: Why I am going to run in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon on behalf of LoveBoth – Críostíona Ní Laimhín

– Want to join Críostíona and many more in this year’s MiniMarathon? Sign up here!

 

 

The pro-life world is quiet since the referendum. We all felt that sense of loss and mourning after the repeal of the 8th Amendment.

 

I know that personally I felt lost. I wasn’t sure what to do next. So many of our efforts went into the campaign it was difficult to see beyond it.

The VHI Mini Marathon is serving as a wake up call for me. It is something real and tangible that I can do to help women in crisis pregnancies.

 

When I was asked to join the team, my initial reaction was to say no. While I would like to say that I am fit and healthy, the idea of committing to a 10km run did not appeal to me at all.

 

However I am warming to the idea. I’ve never taken part in any type of run before. My training is sporadic and I will probably only barely wheeze my way to the finish line but I am excited. I can’t wait to meet all the other women running for amazing causes on the day. Especially those on the LoveBoth team.

 

For the first time in a long time, when I put on my raincoat and runners to practice for the big day, I feel as if I have a purpose in the pro-life movement. The money that my sponsors give me is going to the most amazing cause.

 

I have known women in crisis pregnancies. I have witnessed the panic and worry that they experience. Knowing that my sponsorship will be going to help them in real and practical ways is so motivating.

 

If you are considering joining the LoveBoth team this year, please do! It’s going to be such a great day. Together, as women, we are going to stand up for what we believe. We will show that the fight is not over, that we will continue to fight for women and their children.

 

– Want to join Críostíona and many more in this year’s MiniMarathon? Sign up here!

26.03.2019: I’ve walked the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon for the past two years for very important reasons – Máire Ní Éineacháin

– Want to join Máire and many more in this year’s MiniMarathon? Sign up here!

I’ve walked the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon the past two years for very important reasons.

In 2017, it was with a group from Love Both and I was sponsored to do it. Truth be told, were it not for the sponsorship, I probably would’ve backed out. It was the longest single distance I’d walked and it was tough, but walking with company and championing life made it worth it. As did the many, many women walking for other charities who thanked us for our visible witness to the pro-life cause. That year I felt supported and part of something big. I knew there were so many women on the route with me who had my back when it came to this important issue of life or death, and I felt bolstered.

2018 was a different story. I registered a few months beforehand after finding out the referendum on abortion would be held two weeks before, at the end of May. I resolved that no matter the outcome, I would walk that route once again. Of course, I never dreamed the Irish people would vote against retaining an unborn baby’s right to life. Then the referendum happened and the result made me determined to show that pro-life people had not gone into hiding, licking our wounds. I was sure, beyond anything else, that I was going to walk the 10km that day in defiance of what the majority of my generation voted for. This time I wasn’t sponsored, I didn’t raise any money, there’d be time enough for that. The 2018’s Women’s Mini Marathon was about more. It was about showing resilience, showing that abortion advocates may have won the battle but we would win the war. It was about showing anyone I encountered who voted Yes that I hadn’t gone away, that I wouldn’t be shamed into being quiet, that I was ready for whatever the next battle for the pro-life movement was.

It wasn’t easy. I had an urge all morning to hide my pro-life gear. I felt like anywhere I went in Dublin, I was being stared at. The referendum was still so fresh for people. The day itself had turned disgustingly hot, there was no air and the slightest movement took so much effort. I put my headphones on and away we went. The music blaring through the headphones was as much to stop anyone coming to talk to me as much as it was to push myself on. Around the 4km mark though I started to relax a bit as a couple of women had approached me to thank me for wearing the Love Both t-shirt. One woman told me she had voted No and had found the previous fortnight since the referendum extremely hard and so my wearing the t-shirt publicly, gave her great hope. An older woman who was standing on the route cheering us on stopped me briefly to thank me also. And on and on it went. Each woman that spoke to me gave me hope and gave me strength. It was an odd feeling. All I was doing was wearing a t-shirt, but it was that act of defiance that was letting people in despair know that they weren’t alone in cherishing all human life. Towards the end, I met a friend from work who was also participating. I knew she had intended to vote Yes a fortnight previously. She was with her sister and I worried whether she’d be embarrassed to know me, given what I was wearing, but she welcomed me and we walked the last 3km and crossed the finish line together. We took our photos and celebrated together and she never once passed a remark on my t-shirt or my reason for participating. I was relieved but surprised too. My own expectations of her reaction just showed me how divisive this issue is and how important it was to take the stand I did.

This year I’m walking the Women’s Mini Marathon again with a team from Love Both. This year, I will once again be sponsored (hopefully) by people eager to see the good work Love Both are doing continued – like the Show Your Love Initiative for vulnerable mothers. This year there will be security in numbers and we’ll show that the pro-life movement aren’t going to be pushed out of the public eye, much as those who advocated for abortion might wish. This year will be different, but it will still be a challenge. For me, as well as representing the pro-life movement and raising funds for organisations like Love Both who do tremendous work for mothers seeking their help, I have a previous time to beat and I know with the Love Both team behind me, I can do it!

 

– Want to join Máire and many more in this year’s MiniMarathon? Sign up here!

24.01.19: I have been accused of racism, harassment and bullying, all for highlighting alternatives to abortion – Kristina Vykukalova

I moved to Galway from Slovakia in 2007 and later joined the Galway Anti-Racism Network. As a non-national, I must say I have found Galway to be a very welcoming place.

When Galway Anti-Racism Network began to publicly campaign for repeal of the Eighth Amendment a few years ago my friends and I posed the question whether or not the Network should take a neutral stance during the referendum campaign thus allowing its members to put their differing views on abortion to one side an

d work together in harmony to prevent racism in Galway. The answer was no and “we don’t want your support to be brutally honest”.

I, a non-national, living in Galway, was expelled from Galway Anti Racism Network for suggesting that they take a neutral stance on abortion. Last week, I stood peacefully outside a facility in Galway City which performs abortions. One of our signs read “for help in a crisis pregnancy come talk to us”.

Sinn Féin later issued a press release, part of which read “now less than three days into the delivery of abortion services, anti-abortion groups have assembled to harass women and patients attending a GP clinic in Galway”.

Joseph Loughnane of People Before Profit (and Chair of Galway Anti-Racism Network) shared a photograph of me on his Facebook page under the caption “we still have to deal with people who hate women, here’s a line-up of them in Westside today”.

Galway Pro-Choice also published my photograph saying that “those seeking healthcare at home are already being harassed”.

When my friends and I spoke to the Galway City Tribune (Article published 19th January 2018), Loughnane was quoted as saying that the only reason anyone would be expelled from Galway Anti-Racism Network is “if they made racist remarks”.

I am very sad that this is what Ireland has come to – regardless of the fact that I am a young female, and a non-national, but based on the fact that I believe in legal protection for unborn babies, I am dismissed as “racist” and accused of hating and harassing women.

I find it deeply worrying that pro-choice campaigners seem to be dissatisfied with repeal of the Eighth Amendment and the subsequent introduction of the Health Regulation of

Termination of Pregnancy Act 2018, which allows for abortion for any reason up to three months gestation, up to six months on vague health grounds and up to birth on other health grounds or where the foetus has a condition which would ‘likely’ lead to its death before birth or within 28 days after birth. Many pro-choice groups appear to want more!

 

But what is also alarming is their persistent efforts to silence the voices of young people like me who are trying to peacefully and non-confrontationally promote alternatives to abortion.

Abortion is being presented as the only option for women in crisis situations, and those who offer alternative choices are being written off as “rogue” people who seek to “harass”, “manipulate”, “bully” and “hate” women. (I’ve just quoted Sinn Féin, IFPA, People Before Profit and Galway Pro Choice).

In spite of all the name-calling and caricaturing, we will continue to peacefully protest and pose hard questions about the new law. For example, why does the HSE website conflict with the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act’s definition of abortion by defining surgical abortion as “a surgical procedure to remove a pregnancy”. The law defines the procedure much differently, and clearly; “A medical procedure intended to end the life of a foetus”. Why does the HSE feel a need to dress this up?

And why is the Adoption, Information and Tracing Bill at a standstill in the Dáil, considering how quickly the Abortion Bill was rushed through, why is adoption sidelined and abortion promoted and prioritised?

I will fight for human rights every single day of my life regardless of what names and accusations the other side throw in my direction. The conversation about abortion is far from over in Ireland.

 

This article first appeared in the 24th January 2019 edition of the Galway Advertiser.

03.12.2018: ‘I want to be a midwife because I want to protect, empower and support the vulnerable’ – Inés

By Inés, Student, Dublin

I have always felt a calling to nursing. In recent years this has further revealed itself as a passion for midwifery. At four years of age, I would dress up in my nurse’s outfit to visit sick relatives in hospital. I would study every poster and encyclopaedia of the human body I could get my hands on as a young child. These days, I watch videos on suturing techniques in my spare time. While my friends flick through Snapchat filters, I quiz myself using anatomy apps. I sit for hours reading the Oxford Handbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology because it fascinates me and because I want to be as prepared as possible to help women and children to the best of my ability. I read about the devastating statistics on maternal and infant mortality, pregnancy loss and abortion rates among disadvantaged communities. My heart bleeds and I dream of the day where I have the opportunity to serve these women and children.

I want to be a midwife because I want to protect, empower and support the vulnerable.Helping women of all backgrounds through one of the most challenging and life-changing experiences one can go through while simultaneously protecting the weakest, smallest and most innocent among us, our future, our children. Because hear this, Minister: it is never one or the other. As a pro-life feminist and aspiring healthcare professional, I believe in the non-negotiable, intrinsic value of every human life from its beginning at conception to its natural end.

Since an early age I have been committed to this field of work, this vocation.The legislation that you are railroading through the Dáil though, Minister, threatens my freedom of conscience and thus my ability to fulfil this dream and live out my vocation.

Minister, your abortion bill asks people like me who pursue a life-long dream of serving and protecting people at their most vulnerable moments to prey on the disadvantaged, to turn a blind eye to the circumstances perpetuating suffering in our patients’ lives and, instead of advocating for justice for these mothers and babies, to reject our duty of care as professionals and as human beings. You ask us to dehumanise our most defenceless patients, who we enter this sector to care for, and to inflict lethal violence upon them. In fact you do not ask – you demand. You say conscientious objection is provided for in the bill. Section 24.1  begins with exceptions to the freedom of conscience clause. Even without those exceptions, your bill fails to protect our right to freedom of conscience. What many might have missed, and what I missed until it was pointed out to me the other day, is that your bill does not recognise the right to freedom of conscience under any circumstances.  Section 24.1 states that “nothing in this Act shall be construed as obliging any medical practitioner, nurse or midwife to carry out, or to participate in carrying out, a termination of pregnancy…to which he or she has a conscientious objection.” Nothing in this Act. That’s different to nothing. If the Medical Council or NMBI guidelines obligate a doctor, nurse or midwife to participate in an abortion under any circumstances, the conscientious objector cannot turn to the law to defend this human right.

As when you were campaigning to repeal the 8th, you continue to mislead the public in the most sly manner. And as with the repeal lies, the bitter fruits of this bill will come too late to the majority who trusted you.

As the Select Committee on Health shot down reasonable amendments to your horrific bill, it was identified that there is no clarity as to what constitutes the “transfer of care” your bill forces us to carry out.

You may have heard that the term midwife means “with woman”.  How, may I ask you, is failure to notify parents of an underage girl seeking an abortion (serious indication of potential sexual abuse) being “with woman”? How is facilitating and participating in ending the lives of unborn little girls simply because they are girls being “with woman”? How is offering a woman crippled with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia, or bipolar disorder an abortion instead of the evidence-based treatment she needs and the hospital bed she deserves being “with woman”? How is sending a woman off home or to her college dorm with one pill to starve her baby and another to induce a traumatic miscarriage and heavy bleeding, leaving her alone and in agony being “with woman”?

It’s not, Minister. And many of us know this. We, the 1/3 of the population who voted No, along with the 72% of Yes voters* who are in favour of conscientious objection for healthcare professionals demand that our voices be heard and our civil rights upheld in the legislation

*www.prolifecampaign.ie/main/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Pro-Life-Campaign-Survey-Findings-16th-October-2018-1.pptx

Why my referendum devastation turned to determination, by Criostiona Ni Laimhin

Hearing the results of the referendum was devastating. There is no doubt about that. I’ve been involved with the pro-life movement in whatever way I could be since I was twelve years old and the idea of losing our identity as a pro-life nation was heart-breaking.

But here’s the strange thing – within minutes, that devastation turned to determination. I had been certain that my reaction would be one of despair for weeks on end, wanting only to curl up in a ball and cry for months. Instead, I realised that while we had come to the end of an era, this was only beginning. This is not the end because as we repeated time and time again, from doorstep to doorstep during the campaign – this is about women, it’s about their children and it’s about their lives.

Furthermore, while we might have lost the referendum, there are so many things we gained in the wake of its results.

Firstly, we know where we stand.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that personally I was thinking in a bubble. I hoped to the point of belief that all my friends thought like me, that all my relatives had read the same articles I had and that all the arguments I had given them had convinced. This was not the case and now that I am seeing that with open eyes I can pinpoint exactly were I need to focus my attention.

The pro-life movement has also swelled enormously.

This is true across all divisions be it age, gender or faith. There is nothing like change to push people together, to wake people up, and that’s what this referendum did for us. When I attended the last rally before the referendum, I was overjoyed at the amount of faces I didn’t recognise. That might sound strange, but I knew it meant that the pro-life movement was growing, and is growing faster than we ever could have imagined.

Lastly, abortion is real.

Not that it wasn’t before, but now instead of trying to explain figures and comparisons from other countries, we can simply point to the local hospital or GP clinic. Those figures now have faces and places because they are not a plane journey away, they are in everyone’s town and village.

There is a time for mourning, but we need to persevere and be even stronger than before. This battle was never about laws and amendments. It was about people, women and their children who needed our help and love and support.

I am heart-broken. We all are. But we need to remember that it wasn’t the 8th Amendment that we were striving to protect, it was real and tangible lives and they need us now more than ever.

 

This article first appeared in the 9th September edition of The Open Door magazine, available here: http://www.theopendoor.ie/theopendoor-issue-950-sept-9.pdf

 

We need to stay hopeful about the pro-life struggle in Ireland, and we will prevail, by Yi Wang

As a Canadian woman, I’ve always lived in a country where abortion was available. Before I was born, Canada struck down all legal restrictions on abortion, and the law of the land was to “trust women” and believe that “no one should restrict a woman’s choice.” I joined the pro-lifers’ campaign in Ireland as they fought to prevent their country from taking the same dark road that mine had taken.

I was shocked to see the results of the vote. It’s hard to see a silver lining after the referendum. However, I’ve come to realize that the referendum has given Ireland something powerful—which possibly no other country’s pro-life movement has.

The level of organization and passion within Ireland’s pro-life movement is unique in that it is a direct result of having had a referendum. Canada’s pro-life movement, though filled with dedication and passion, is mainly composed of small groups working independently. Canada could not have put together such a strong and coherent campaign. Canadians don’t have dozens of pro-life leaders, all of whom now have countless hours of experience in speaking to the media, canvassing, and running public campaigns. Ireland’s pro-life movement is young, vibrant, passionate, organized, and—now more than ever—has something to fight for.

The referendum has given Ireland pro-life leaders like Cora Sherlock, Katie Ascough, and Maria Steen. It has brought people together from all over the country—people who are willing to defend human rights. If Canada had, over the past few decades, the organized network of pro-lifers and pro-life leaders that the referendum has given Ireland, then the abortion culture in Canada would look completely different than it unfortunately does today.

Learning that only a third of the country stands with us is disheartening. However, knowing that a third of people are willing to defend the unborn against the pressures of the media, public scorn, and misinformation from politicians and advocacy groups, like Amnesty, gives the situation hope. To have one out of every three people fight alongside you is incredible. If the passion we had during the referendum is not lost, we can effect social change and prevent more damage over the coming years.

We need people willing to take action so that women will not choose abortion. Keep talking to people, continue to educate them, and show them that science and logic clearly prove that abortion is never ethical. Be there for women who are considering abortions, and demonstrate to them that you are a person who will offer them help and support if they are ever faced with a crisis pregnancy. Support crisis pregnancy centers, like Gianna Care. Wear and display pro-life messages to show the country that abortion is not—and never will be—the norm in Ireland. Now, more than ever, your effort can save lives.

Stay hopeful: countries that legalized abortion when their people knew little about the science of life in the womb are now seeing their laws changed and abortion rates decline. People are realizing, through medical advances, that human life in the womb is intricate, beautiful, and worth saving. Ireland voted for abortion while being kept in the dark about the scientific truths of intrauterine life. Shed light where the Repeal campaigners spread darkness, and the tides will turn in Ireland too.

This article appears in the latest edition of The Open Door magazine which can be accessed here: http://www.theopendoor.ie/the-open-door-sept-2-issue-949.pdf

20.08.18: Why I’m optimistic for the future of the pro-life movement, by Gavin Boyne

On the 25th of May, the Irish people voted to remove the 8th amendment from our constitution. This amendment acknowledged the Right to Life of the unborn child and acted as the child’s only legal protection. In its stead, the 36th amendment to the constitution shall be implemented. The implementation of this amendment will allow the Oireachtas to enact legislation allowing for abortion.

Many people are still grieving the loss of an amendment which saved at least 100,000 lives. The sting of this defeat will be most prevalent among those of us who actively campaigned and canvassed. Those of us who went door to door to try and change peoples’ minds and hearts, to convince them that we, as a nation and a people could do so much more for our women than abortion.

Despite all of this, I as a young Pro-Life person, am incredibly optimistic for the future of Ireland and the Pro-Life movement. As someone whose first ever vote was cast in this referendum, I had not been politically inclined before and certainly had never campaigned yet I felt a need to be for this issue – which was the same feeling for many young people.

I feel confident for the future of the Pro-Life movement because we have now recalibrated and know exactly where we stand in the eyes of the electorate. We know the reasons why people voted Yes and we know the age demographics who tend to be Pro-Choice. We have a very strong base to work from and this is a base that is incredibly unyielding – despite the media’s slant on the Pro-Life cause, despite the mistruths from the Yes side and how difficult it was to be openly Pro-Life, especially for young people, they remained with us. It isn’t an insignificant proportion of the electorate either, it is 33%. One in Three voters stood for life and fought the hard fight.

The future of the Pro-Life movement will be carried by young people and I have noticed a great sense of community among the people that I’ve met during the campaign. From arranging Pro-Life balls, to charity events and social events, a Pro-Life culture is being cultivated, largely by young people. They are incredibly bright, committed and determined to see Ireland become a Pro-life nation, where women and their unborn children are respected and valued. These are people who will fight for as long as it takes to ensure that Ireland’s women and children are safe. The referendum was truly only the beginning of the Pro-Life fight.

 

 

17.07.18: How I feel about the referendum result, by Emma Maloney

As I fought back the tears as the results of the referendum were announced I knew in my heart that this defeat wouldn’t stop me from continuing to speak out against abortion. My message before, during and after the referendum is still the same – Women deserve better than abortion. Having gone through a crisis pregnancy myself I know how difficult it is but it does get better. You don’t need to end the life of your unborn baby in order to feel happy again.

In 2015 I faced a crisis pregnancy, the 8th Amendment was there to protect my unborn son and protect me from making a decision I could have easily regretted later. Thankfully I gave birth to my beautiful son Rossa and my life transformed for the better, I can honestly say I am a happier person now than I was before my pregnancy.

Women and babies will no longer have the protection of the 8th so we must work even harder in the future to ensure women in unplanned and difficult pregnancies are given compassion, care and encouragement that they can have their babies and continue their education/ travels/ dreams. Having a child should never be seen as a negative thing but something that brings joy into the world.  To quote Mother Teresa, “How can you say there are too many children? That`s like saying there are too many flowers”.

I`m so thankful for all the friendships I`ve made over the past few months and I am so reassured by the fact that the pro-life community in Ireland is continuing to grow and fight for the rights of the unborn and better support systems for women facing unplanned pregnancies. It’s so important that we don’t become disheartened by this loss but come back, more determined than ever to fight against abortion. Everyone can do something to help and I urge you not to delay – contact the Pro Life Campaign today on info@loveboth.ie to see what you can do to help restore legal protection for unborn babies.

For anyone who thinks “Abortion is happening anyway”

I was 21 when I got pregnant. I was living at home with my mam I had a minimum wage job with a zero hour contract, I suffered horrendously with depression and attempted suicide 3 years previous.

I had been with my boyfriend for about 6 months he was still in college and only 20 at the time so obviously our relationship wasn’t very stable. I was taking the pill but FORTUNATELY, it didn’t work.

On the 12th of February 2016, I was at work and I felt strange. No missed period nothing like that but something felt different. I decided to take a pregnancy test and as I was broke it was a cheap (own brand) test and it came back positive. Being 21 I thought there’s no way that’s right it has to be the test so I bought an expensive test with the last bit of money I had until the end of the week. I went home and with my boyfriend, I took the test and as we waited for what seemed like a year for the result we thought no it would have shown by now and then… 2-3 weeks pregnant. I freaked out and so did he. We had no money, no place of our own, no stability whatsoever and we were only together a short while.

We went for a walk and we chatted and we talked about traveling for an abortion. We weren’t ready we couldn’t manage the responsibility and financial aspects of a baby. He was still in college, I had a terrible job in retail. But we had no money to travel and I had no passport so we came to the conclusion that we would keep our baby. Within a couple of days, we were overjoyed I couldn’t believe there was this tiny little life we had created growing inside me.

Months passed and week by week we knuckled down and saved so hard to prepare for our little babies arrival.
At my first appointment in the hospital I found out I was “0 negative” which meant my body could potentially fight my baby and force me to miscarry so the midwives advised me of a treatment of injections I could receive to save my babies life and of course I decided to take them. (all the while having full choice in all my decision making)

I went into labor on a Friday evening 3 days overdue. On Saturday evening I was admitted to hospital as the labor was going on for far too long and they decided although my baby was fine it was safer for me. That night at 12 o’clock my temperature began to rise to a point where it was dangerously high and although my daughter was fine they advised it was in my best interest to have a C section. (still having full choice over my own body)I decided although it wasn’t part of my birth plan to CONSENT to a C-section.

My daughter was born in the early hours of that morning.

Every ounce of doubt and anxiety I had about bringing a life into the world completely disappeared when they placed her tiny little body on me and she lay there crying. This tiny little person was my responsibility she relied on me to protect her. She loved me and I loved her and although we had only just met the bond we had been growing throughout my pregnancy. From that moment I knew I would never be alone again this bond was unbreakable.

She is 18 months old now and every day I know how lucky I am that the Eight was in place. Before she was born I had NO reason to live. Life seemed so bleak and pointless every day was another contemplation of whether I would take my own life.

Since the day she was born, that hasn’t happened. My daughter is my sole purpose in life; she has saved my life and in turn, we both owe our lives to the Eighth Amendment. For anyone who thinks “Abortion is happening anyway, we won’t save anyone”… To them, I say: YOU ARE WRONG. We are both LIVING PROOF that the Eight saves lives.

A. O.