Mother's Day is always bittersweet for me. I am so grateful to be a Mom to two daughters who are alive and well. I watch them growing, becoming their own people and I learn so much from them.
But I am also an invisible Mom. My daughter Hannah died in 2004. Hannah died just before birth as a result of what is called a cord accident. These are such innocous words for such a shocking, shocking death. Hannah is one of millions of invisible babies dying every day in our world in spite of modern medicine. On Monday, Hannah's heart was beating strong and clear. On Friday, her heart had stopped.
Research into the causes of stillbirth is so low down on the funding agenda that it barely gets a look in. It is far more common than what used to be called Cot Death. As many as one in 30 babies in the developing world die just before or at birth. In Australia alone, stillbirth, is the third largest cause of death. Ground breaking research is taking place see International Stillbirth Alliance but even doctors and midwives are unaware of the research.
We live in a world of invisible babies..and invisible mothers.
If today you are an invisible mother through failed fertility treatment, miscarriage, stillbirth or forced adoption, my heart goes out to you. I will be thinking of Hannah and I will be thinking of you. If you are an adult who has been prevented from finding your mother, I will be thinking of you.
Today with my whole heart and every fibre of my being, I ask this of you.
If you can help a mother and child to be reunited by giving information to someone PLEASE do it.
If you care for expectant mothers, PLEASE, find out all you can about the prevention of stillbirth.
If your friend is an invisible mother, PLEASE find a way to acknowledge her and her baby today. Visit, text, write a letter or a card. People worry they are upsetting us by 'reminding' us of our babies.
I will tell you a secret.
We NEVER forget our babies. We think of them every day. We walk around every day carrying the absence of our babies. Every birthday, every Christmas, every Mother's Day and Father's Day we think of them. We think how old they would be now if they were still with us. We wonder would they have been quiet or boisterous. We wonder would they have liked Barney or Bear in the Big Blue House.
We NEVER EVER forget.
This is OUR Truth.
Support for bereaved parents is available at Feileacain
Support for people who survived Irish Institutions Justice for Magdalenes
An afternoon among the women poem
Growing up in a white world
When people say genealogy is boring
Anger and Truth
Where do you come from?
The House on an Irish Hillside book review
Mammies for Mariage Equality
Aw go on, say YES
Homeless in Ireland
When wide sky opens poem
I love my work
Celtic New Year
This small house
Rhythm & Rest poem
The Hidden Self
The Lonely Road
Kerry Pride 2013
Letting the Light in after Loss
Letting go is hard
Pick up the phone
Her name was not Magdalene
Do what you love doing!
My small granny
Praise the child and boil the dishcloths
My invisible brother Michael
I don't want to be Irish anymore
Alone on Valentine's Day
I love my country but I am not blind
Truth no. 2
How we tell the Truth
From Clare to here
Mother's Day is bittersweet
I will not be part of that
No Blacks No Dogs No Irish
Thank you for the days
Baby Marion Howe
My Irish Identity
When my Mam was dying
Violence against women
Take back your power
Draw the line
My small granny and other stories