photo credit: jcbonbon via photopin cc

Thank you my blogging friends.

Today is a good day! Take a look to your right and you will see my shiny new badge. I have been shortlisted for the Irish Blog awards in the Best Personal Blog category. It says ‘short’list but actually it’s still quite a long list if you ask me. blog awards ireland

Late last night as I was up watching a load of rubbish on the television, I saw on facebook that the shortlist was live. I tried to stay non caring and casually went to the link, yes very casually if you must know. I went down the ridiculously long list of shortlists and to my horror I was not there. In that moment many emotions flooded through me. Disappointment being the number one. I also felt cross, on behalf of my blog. Why did they not like it? I love it. Then I realised I was looking at the wrong list. I was not nominated in Best Lifestyle but in Best Personal category. Glad that no one had heard my cries of dismay, I casually raced over to Best Personal shortlist, and there I was. Phew.

It is a good few hours now since I learned the news and I am delighted. However that moment of disappointment has made me think. Regardless of how many times we hear ourselves say, ‘What does it matter, I blog for myself’, it does in fact matter. I cared last night. I cared, that  as the writer on this blog, I was not shortlisted, and I cared that someone did not like my blog.

Last year I made it to the finals. I can see now that that was a great achievement, but as I was a very new blogger at the time, I had no appreciation of that. This year is different. I am not exactly an experienced blogger, but I am no longer new. I have grown to love my blog. It is in fact, in many ways, a part of me. As the title says it is, “My thoughts on a page”. This year these awards mean more to me. I care that I am being judged. I care that someone might not think I am up to the mark. I care what you think of me.

Today I know a number of bloggers who are disappointed. I know it sounds trite but I actually am gutted for them. Some in particular are really good bloggers, and I question their omission. Having felt disappointed last night, if only for a short while, I can imagine how they feel, and wonder is entering these awards and having your blog ‘judged’ a good thing?

However for myself it has all worked out well. I am at this moment delighted. I will probably be writing you a ‘Help I want to delete my blog because I didn’t make the finals’ post in a few weeks, but tonight all is good in my world.photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/foxtongue/3152635763/">Foxtongue</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

Regardless of whether I make the finals I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who read, like and comment on my posts, and especially those of you who took the time to nominate me. What a year it has been. So many of you have stuck there right beside me. You were there to celebrate with me when the young warrior was well, you comforted me when Dan was sick, and so many of you reached out to me when we lost him. Since then you have continued to comfort and support me when needed. It has not been all misery here and we have also shared some great laughs, often at my husbands expense, and discussed a huge variety of issues. I have enjoyed enormously writing every post, but it is your interaction with me that has made the whole experience one which I can never adequately describe to a non blogger.
I am proud to number so many of you among my ‘friends’.

Thanks a million all of you, my friends.

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A lifetime of mothering has taught me what?

I have been a parent now for over twenty years. In that time I have become a very different mother to the anxious, overly protective, young Mom I was to my first baby. Tonight as I reflect on that journey I thought I might share the many fails and successes I have experienced along the way.

Epic fails.

Believing, even for a moment that my babies would love their beautifully decorated bedroom as much as I did.
They first entered that bedroom around the age of four months, only to exit it for the first time approximately two hours later.

Never imagining for a second, that a baby would be born without the knowledge of night and day.
Watching them sleep like nocturnal animals by day, while feeding, crying or gurgling all night is something even years later I have not forgotten.

Thinking a weeks potty training would be an end to nappies.
In order to continue progress I learned that even young children know how to manipulate a situation in order to maximise bribes.photo credit: Alain Bachellier via photopin cc

Forgetting that two year old children are quick.
On one occasion I lost two two year olds. Having searched high and low, and even ran down the road looking for them, I discovered they had learned the game of hide and seek. Both were in the newly delivered dresser in the kitchen, hiding in the cupboards.

Believing my dyslexic sons inability to recite the alphabet or nursery rhymes was because he was a boy!
Whenever anxious family members wondered, I was not concerned. Did they not know that boys were not as quick as girls?

Having no doubt that no daughter of mine would ever wear a skirt that short.
I did a full turn on this one. It did not mean my girls were destined for a life walking the pavements or were soon to become teenage Moms. It was just a moment in time, which thankfully passed quickly.

Thinking that only bad parents don’t know where their children are at all times.
Children throughout time have mastered many methods of duping parents. My own little darlings were no exceptions, although it didn’t stop me using counter intelligence to try to thwart their plans!

Thinking that an eighteen year old is an adult.

How wrong can a person be? An eighteen year old is still on many occasions a lost soul looking for direction. Parenting, it would seem to me, is a job for a lifetime.

Successes.

Learning that ‘spoiling’ a baby leads to a contented baby.
Having struggled with bedtime routines and rules with three children, I threw away the rule book on my fourth child. I fed her when she wanted, I picked her up when she cried, and I stopped watching the clock to ensure she went to bed at the right time. The result was a contented baby, who upset our days and nights so much less than any of my other children.

Understanding that all babies progress at a different rate, and all get there in the end.
After my first I stopped trying to fast forward their lives. By the time it got to my fourth child I found myself wondering ‘Wow when did she learn to do that?’. I also noted that they all caught up in the end.

Not being concerned by convention.

I allowed my daughter to go to school with three pony tails in her short hair, because she thought it was lovely. It most certainly wasn’t. I was also happy to buy boys school shoes for another daughter as she disliked girls shoes, and I was very relaxed watching my son wheel a doll in a pretty pink pram to the shops.

Trusting my own instinct as to what was best for my child.
Not all my children were outgoing. Many people thought that I should pull back, send them to school early and push them more. I did the opposite, believing my children needed a bit more time to become the confident children they would eventually become. Looking back I wouldn’t change a moment.small__47789465

Discovering that ‘Good night time’ is very important.
Five minutes spent lying beside a child before they go to sleep often begins a conversation that might never have happened. Small worries may be shared, or happy moments enjoyed.

Learning to never react to any news.
As my children grew older I became an Oscar winning actress. No matter what secret or news they divulged I remained calm, head nodding, and bit my lip to ensure the “WHAT?” that was on the tip of my tongue, stayed there.

Organising ‘girls night’.
As my family expanded it became harder to spend time alone with them. We organised girls night so they knew that once a week we’d have time together. It was a simple night, usually involving a treat and a half hour viewing of ‘friends’ DVD, but it was a special time.

Remembering that even on the darkest of parenting days that ‘This too will pass’.

Sometimes our children hate us, and sometimes it is hard to like our children. These days are difficult but they are part of our children growing up. Thankfully in time just like so many other phases in their lives this too passes.

There are so many more lessons I’ve learned as I’m sure some of you reading have also. However if I were to share two things I learned above all else it would be these.
That parenting is a difficult job which we learn over time, and which involves a lot of trial and error.
My second nugget of advice is for those of you who have survived the many trying days of early motherhood and are now faced with the new challenge that is a teenager. To you I would say, ‘Pick your battles carefully’.

Parenting is not an easy job. As I look back on the past twenty years I remember that day I first discovered I was pregnant and how I imagined our future. I laugh now thinking back to those early days and first experiences as a mother. It has been a difficult road, but one I will always be happy I undertook. Would I go back again? Yes most definitely.

**********************

As a side note today I did the ice bucket challenge in memory of my Dad. If you would like to see it I reluctantly posted it on my facebook page here. It is not my finest hour.

And just in case you hear my comment at the end, Eejit can also be an affectionate term of endearment!

photo credit: Alain Bachellier via photopin cc
photo credit: RodrigoFavera via photopin cc

What is the point of the ice bucket challenge?

When I see the ice bucket challenge videos on line I sigh. For when I read #icebucket, I read MND. I read Dad. I read dying slowly. I read loss.  This is my reality. This is what the Ice bucket challenge means to me.

It was almost thirty years ago when my Dad first noticed his legs and arms becoming weak. At nearly fifty, and a fit man he was puzzled. It was some time later before we noticed my Dad stumbling, slurring his words and having difficulty with everyday tasks. Tests were carried out and eventually we were told he had Motor Neurone Disease. A relatively unknown disease at the time.

There was no cure and no treatment. Thirty years later nothing has changed. There is still no cure and no treatment. Is there any other disease in the world we can say that about?small__14927191426

So every day as I watch those videos I am glad. Maybe at last some money will be put into research, and there will be in our future some hope offered to those who are told they have this awful disease.

However mixed with this delight that MND is at last being spoken about, my thoughts quickly turn to memories of Dad. Take this morning for example. I was online briefly waiting to bring my daughter to gym, when I saw a number of ice bucket challenge videos posted. Moments later I was in the car with my daughter  listening to her and her friends as they chatted together.

It was a beautiful bright sunny morning. As it was early the roads were almost empty. The ice bucket challenge had cranked up the old memory reel in my head, and as I drove I continued to watch it in my minds eye. Today’s viewing was of  a Sunday morning drive, almost thirty years ago. I was just learning to drive and accompanying me at the wheel was my Dad. I was a competitive swimmer at the time and rose each morning at 4.50am. Except on a Sunday, that was my day off.  As early mornings meant nothing to me, we had decided that each Sunday my Dad and I would get up early, when Dublin traffic was almost non existent, and go for a practice drive for a couple of hours.

As I drove my daughter this morning I smiled inwardly remembering those very precious hours I spent with my Dad. In a family of five children it was never easy to have time alone with a parent, especially a working parent. Each Sunday we would head to the relatively newly built dual carriageway, which felt like an open road. There was very little need for instruction there, allowing us both to talk. And how we talked. Sometimes we spoke of serious topics, or one of my favourites, his past. We also spoke of my future, my hopes and dreams. But despite these many hours of chat, my most vivid memories of those days are of the many times we laughed together.

Those Sunday morning drives were enormously enjoyable. Never for a moment did I think that in years to come I would remember them for so much more than learning to drive. As we headed off each Sunday, neither of us could ever have imagined what lay in store. We didn’t know that for my Dad the clock was ticking. Motor Neurone Disease was waiting to rob us of his future. Slowly over time my young, fit. patient, active, loving Dad would find himself in a wheelchair, unable to feed himself, and in time unable to swallow. Yet looking back we could have coped with those losses, regardless of how hard they were, but the cruelest of all was to come. In photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/werkman/2046135197/">Peter Werkman (www.peterwerkman.nl)</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>time my Dad lost his ability to speak. Long before he died we would no longer hear his wit at the table, or enjoy his mellow Co Donegal accent spoken in his quiet tone. He was silenced.

Regardless of my Dad’s condition we continued to love spending time with him. Engaging in one way conversations, where we tried to read his mind by looking into his eyes. Sadly time eventually ran out for us, and Motor Neurone Disease stole another life.  A rare and wonderful man, who was and continues to be my Dad.

So the next time you see one of those ice bucket challenges in your feed, or perhaps in time you become irritated by them, remember the reality that is MND/ALS. Remember even after all these years, there is no treatment, no cure, and perhaps remember my Dad and the many more wonderful lives it has taken.

photo credit: Peter Werkman (www.peterwerkman.nl) via photopin cc
photo credit: slgckgc via photopin cc

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Would you go back?

What were you like when you were 20? What were your hopes and dreams? Was life good for you, and would you go back?

Tonight I was challenged by Lorna who blogs at Irish farmerette  to reflect on when I was 20, and from the moment I read the prompt I could not shake those memories. Life at 20 for me was one of contrasts.

At twenty I was a student nurse living in the nurses home, hugely enjoying life on the wards and the many friendships I had made. I had bought my own car and was relishing my independence. My social life was busy to say the least, as I discovered that nurses really did know how to party.

At twenty I had a stalker, who was making my life very difficult. A man who followed my every move. A man I told no one about. A man who I feared, and hated in equal measure.

At twenty I had just returned from holidays. There I had met someone unlike anyone I had ever met before. Certainly someone who was not my usual ‘type’. Little did I know that that young fella was going to stick around. He and I would stand the many tests of time. His quiet strength was to make all the difference in my life, at a time when I needed it most.

At twenty my father was unwell. Within months my mom and I would walk into a consultants office on the ward, who would tell us that they had at last diagnosed what was wrong with him. Listening to him, our world would stop. He would tell us that Dad had Motor Neurone disease. There was no treatment, no cure. He would die.

Yes my life at twenty was certainly a life of contrasts. Despite the obvious difficulties I was experiencing, over all I was enjoying some of the greatest days of my life. Young love was blossoming, parties were a plenty, friendships were forged, and my life as a nurse was hugely rewarding.photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbushnell/2794421370/">jbushnell</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

Other than to have more time with my Dad I would never wish to be twenty again. But all the ups and downs of that year have helped to make me the person I am today. Those many happy days in the midst of sadness, have given me the love of fun, the desire to be happy and the ability to laugh on the darkest of days. Watching my mom, whose world was falling down around her, keep herself going and continue to make our house a fun and happy place to come home to is something I have never forgotten.  Living through those sad, lonely, difficult days made me strong and surviving them has given me the knowledge that regardless of how hard life may seem, I can.

So there you have it Lorna, my reflections on when I was twenty.
Tonight as I type this I am reminded of a famous quote from A tale of two cities. I think it just about sums up my twentieth year perfectly.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

And other than writing this, I am glad to never have to go back there.

photo credit: jbushnell via photopin cc

Remembering you.

You have been gone now for over half my life,
and yet there is rarely a day goes by without me thinking of you.

Sometimes it is to remember something you said,photo credit: Jocey K via photopin cc
or to imagine what you would think of a situation.

Sometimes it is to remember days gone by,
when as a child you were all a Dad should be.

Sometimes it is when I advise my own children,
and I remember it was you who first gave me that advice, many moons ago.

Sometimes it is when I find myself singing ‘The green glens of Antrim’,
and in my minds eye I hear your voice.

Sometimes it is when I look at my children with their Dad,
and I envy them his love.

Sometimes it is for no particular reason,
just the girl in me missing her Dad.

But today I remember you on your birthday.
Happy Birthday Dad, where ever you are.
xxxxxxxxxxxx

 

My Dad died twenty six years ago of motor neurone disease. Before he became ill he regularly bought me freesia for no particular reason, except that  I loved them. Today my mom put some freesia on his grave from me and here I get to give him another little bunch, and a virtual kiss and a hug. xo

photo credit: Jocey K via photopin cc

To us.

Today is the anniversary of the day I got married. We have defied the odds, and have managed to stay married, and even fond of each other, for over twenty years.

I am allergic to writing a mushy post, and there are more than enough posts on this blog where I have laughed at yer man who I married. So instead I will post a link to this song by The Fureys.

It is not perfect, it doesn’t fully explain what he sees in me or vice verse.
It doesn’t tell him what he means to me, nor does it say how I feel about him.
It doesn’t give words to the love I still have for him, nor does it allow you to know how much I have enjoyed our life together.

However there is a line in it which I love, and which says ‘I will always love you’ so perfectly.
For those romantics among you enjoy.

And for yer man here…..

“So, kiss me, my sweet, and so let us part;
And when I grow too old to dream,
That kiss will live in my heart”

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When the last door closes.

Last night was a night like any other. There was no sign. No warning.
We said ‘Goodnight’ and off she went, with the usual kiss and a hug.
My twelve year old baby, now as tall as myself.

I sat a while longer enjoying the peace, and a glass of wine.
Eventually I called it a day, and climbed the stairs.
And there it was, as I reached the landing…

The closed door.

I’m sure reading this you are not exactly upset.
perhaps puzzling as to what you missed.
What’s my problem, her bedroom door is closed?
Get over it.

However this was so much more than a closed door.
For twenty three years I have climbed my stairs.
and without fail I have entered my sleeping children’s bedrooms,small__8745759743
to whisper a silent goodnight.

When they were young babies I tiptoed in,
to gaze just once more on that tiny being.
To experience once more before I slept, that skip of my heart,
as I inhaled their baby smell and fell in love all over again.

There were nights I opened that door,
holding my breath to hear that they were breathing.
There were nights I opened that door many times,
to a screaming child refusing to sleep.

There were nights I opened that door,
to be met by a child lying wide awake.
Upset after a bad dream, or fretting with a childhood worry,
which a hug and a snuggle gladly given, seemed to cure.

The years have rolled by,
and one by one the doors have closed,
until there was just one left.
But one door open was better than none.

I suppose if I am honest I had seen it coming.
The bedroom toys were gone,
a good night story no longer wanted,
and the light outside the door switched off.

The owner of this door is maturing fast,
and leaving her childhood behind.photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/45688888@N08/5915484733/">"PictureYouth"</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
She speaks, looks and acts like a teenager,
but to me, she will forever be my baby.

So perhaps now you can understand,
what that closed door meant to me.
Tonight as I climb the stairs and see that door,
a small part of me will mourn it’s passing.

However as that door closes a whole new world is opening up for my daughter,
an exciting world of independence and freedom,
A world of friends, makeup and boyfriends,
the world of a teenager.

Then out of the blue a thought strikes me,
and I feel ashamed of my sadness.
I think of Daniel and young Ben,
and the bedroom doors their parents face.

I get a grip,
and tearfully I give thanks,
that it was in fact she and not I who closed that door,
and that beyond it my child still sleeps.

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photo credit: ohsohappytogether via photopin cc

photo credit: tanakawho via photopin cc

When suicide strikes we all ask why? Maybe we ask too late?

 

In the wake of Robin Williams suicide many are asking why? Whenever I hear people ask this question, I am reminded of an elderly lady I nursed many years ago and how I learned that not everything is as we may see it.

The lady I speak of was in her eighties. She was admitted with chest pain, confusion, and a number of other medical issues. However it was not her ailments but her story which has remained with me.

She arrived into the geriatric ward the day I began there.  She had a head of white hair with a natural curl, soft skin and a smile which took years off her when she  showed it.  However those first days we rarely saw it, as she lay in bed, back to the door, and showed little interest in what was going on around her.

In the room with her was another lady who was quite unwell. In order to look after her I was in and out of the room many times, and even though I was busy, this lady kept catching my eye.  She rarely moved, despite being fully mobile. She never sat up, turned around, nor showed any interest in what was happening around her. The few times we spoke she barely answered me.

Over the next few days I spent more and more time with her. Slowly she began to unfold, and as she did so her character was revealed. She was one of those patients who would never ask you for anything, believing at all times that you were too busy, and that she would only be bothering you. She was quiet, but once engaged she was so happy to chat. In fact it was this willingness to chat and her wonderful story telling ability that kept me coming back for more, every chance I got.

We spoke about her past, her childhood and her family. However the majority of our conversations were about her early life with the man who would become her husband of almost fifty years. He had passed away two years previously, just short of their fifty year anniversary. At the time I had only recently met my now husband of over twenty years. We were enjoying those early heady days of love, and listening to me sharing my stories, brought this lady back in time to when she was a young girl.  Together we shared many stories which were very similar, just years apart

As her test results began to come back doctors were puzzled. This lady had presented with a lot of medical issues, yet now after a week many seemed to have resolved. They had no idea why.

One morning we were chatting. Her family were coming to visit and she was doing her best to apply makeup and look ‘well’. I was brushing her hair and looking at her in the mirror.  The conversation turned to my boyfriend and I remember I said something along the lines of ‘ ‘I’m  no fool, I’ll keep him chasing’. As I did so she put down her make up and looked at me in the mirror. Then she said,  ‘Don’t play games for too long my dear. I did that for seven years. Seven years I could have been with him, and I regret it every day’.

There was something in the way she said it that made me stop, just for a moment. Then, continuing on I asked, was she very lonely without him? As she began to answer me I watched her face crumble. Tears filled her eyes and spilled over. She never sobbed, just allowed her tears to fall unchecked. I knelt beside her and held her hand as she cried for a little while more.  Watching her cry I realised just how alone and lonely she was.  As quickly as she had begun she stopped, wiped her eyes and I knew she was closing down. I decided to press her, gently, so I asked her ‘Did she ever wish she was with him’ . She nodded, and over the next few minutes it all came out.small_7808465302

Living without her lifelong pal she found life unbearable. She felt a burden on her family, and could no longer find joy in any day. The idea of being with her husband had begun to appeal to her, and over time she had begun to overdose on her medication, hence her admission to hospital.

Listening to her story I was struck by the fact that this lady had lived a lie. She had said all the right things at the right time and had kept up a pretense for her family that she was coping.  I too had been fooled by her, allowing myself to enjoy her stories but never asking the questions that would have allowed her to open up.  Within the hospital she had been treated for her physical symptoms when in fact her real troubles did not need a series of tests to diagnose. What she really needed was someone who would ask her how she was, and take the time to really listen to her reply.

This week ten of our fellow Irish citizens with take their own life, by choice. They will be someones much loved daughter, son, mother, father, uncle or aunt. The methods they chose may vary, the reasons my differ, but the effects on the lives of all those who loved them will be the same. Devastating.

Something has got to change. It is time we all began to look around us, and ask questions. It is time for us to listen to those who are silently screaming, and let them know we are here, they are much loved and we care. It is time to discuss depression, and mental illness openly.

It is time for us all to play our part.
If we change nothing nothing changes. It is time.

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photo credit: Iqbal Osman1 via photopin cc

When I think of you..

 

When I see your clothes left on the stairs,
hear you giving out about my lost keys,
or I smell the wet towel discarded by you in the bathroom,
I think….. ‘Feck you’.

When I see you empty the dishwasher and then reload it your way,photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sparker/14552552199/">Steve Parker</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">cc</a>
or watch you put the tiniest remnants of a dinner in the fridge,
or go for a cycle in the rain,
I think… ‘You eejit’.

When I see the shower plug unblocked,
the light changed in the bathroom,
and my car washed and hoovered,
I think…. ‘Thank you’.

When I am away from home,
and I do not hear your voice,
nor enjoy the many times you make me laugh each day,

I think….‘I just might be missing you!’

************
I am away for a few days visiting my mom. Yes, the one in the post which made you smile the last day! I am not sure if I will be posting over the next couple of days, but tonight I had time, and would you believe it this was the only post which came to mind. How pathetic am I?
I hope it gets me a few brownie points at least when I go home!

photo credit: Toban B. via photopin cc

Are women in Ireland second class citizens?

As the child of a strong willed, independent mother, I grew up believing that girls were as good as boys. I was also aware that many boys did not agree with me. In an effort to live as an equal in this male dominated world, as a child  I suppressed any girlishness within me. I refused to wear dresses, I cut my hair short and acted as non girly like as I could.

However I was up against it. Despite being good at football the boys on the road did not allow me play most of the time. I could climb trees better than most but again was not allowed do that with the boys. I can still remember the fury I felt some days returning home, having been excluded from a game. ‘I am as good as those boys’  played on a loop inside my head.

As the years moved on I remained extremely sensitive to being discounted from something because I was a girl. I have three girls of my own and have tried over the years to teach them the lessons I learned from my own mother.

So why am I writing this post today? What has prompted my thinking on this?

Well i am writing because I am incensed, furious, and in a way incredulous about something that happened here in Ireland recently. I am also amazed by the fact that most Irish women are unaware of what has happened. So let me explain.

In the high court a judge has removed our right to birth our babies as we wish. He removed our rights to have an opinion. He told us we are not well informed. He told us that the health professionals can make the choice for us, regardless of whether we agree or not. They do not need to have our consent!

Let us put this in perspective. Can you imagine going in for an operation and not having to sign a consent form? The doctor knows best. Would you be happy with that, regardless of how knowledgeable the doctor was?

So why would a judge rule that it is okay during childbirth for a midwife to do what she thinks is right even if you have asked her not to?

This article by Mind the baby explains the situation very well.

I understand that many of you will not read have time to click the link, so as you are here, let me try to explain the situation as best I can.

Recently a case came to the courts in which an Irish woman sued Kerry General Hospital. She claimed that due to a midwife rupturing her membranes against her expressed wishes, she required an emergency caesarian section. As a result of the artificial rupture of membranes, a natural birth had been denied, a life endangering complication had resulted and an invasive operation had been required.

However the judge decided that the midwife was trained, and was entitled to do what she thought best, regardless of the woman’s wishes. In his own words, the judge said ‘

“The midwife was the person entitled, authorised and qualified to make the decision” 

The key point here is that this judge agreed that the midwife did not require the consent of the woman, in order to rupture her membranes. This woman had no voice. Her body was no longer her own responsibility.

I am beyond words. Why are more women not concerned about this? Why are the newspapers not discussing it? This judge is saying lie back, the doctors and nurses will do what’s best for you. If you agree, wonderful, if you do not, tough, as we can do what we think is right regardless. No consent required.

I have no doubt that many who will read the headlines behind this story will believe it to be a group of hippy home birth, or natural birth freaks on a bandwagon, but it is anything but.

This is about the rights of women to be treated with dignity and respect. The rights of a woman to have an opinion, and the rights of ourselves and our daughters to write a birth plan and know it will be taken seriously.

This ruling tells me, that the world has not changed very much from the male dominated world of my childhood days.

**************

Justice Sean Ryan also awarded costs against the family in this case. They are now liable for both their own legal costs and those of the HSE. AIMs has begun a fund to help this family meet the costs. If you want more details you will find it here. AIMS Ireland Womens Support Fund.