feimineach.com

A woman has spoken for the first time about the “five weeks of torture” she went through while waiting for her unborn baby to die because of Ireland’s abortion laws.Claire Cullen-Delsol, 31, a mother of two from Waterford city, had to wait over a month for her daughter’s heartbeat to stop naturallyA woman has spoken for the first time about the “five weeks of torture” she went through while waiting for her unborn baby to die because of Ireland’s abortion laws.

Claire Cullen-Delsol, 31, a mother of two from Waterford city, had to wait over a month for her daughter’s heartbeat to stop naturally before she could end a pregnancy that had no medical chance of succeeding.

Ms Cullen-Delsol and her husband, Wayne, have an eight-year-old daughter and a 20-month-old son. In August, twenty weeks into her pregnancy, she was told that Alex, her second daughter, would not survive because of a chromosome disorder.

Abortion is illegal in Ireland except in extremely limited circumstances, which do not include fatal foetal abnormalities.

“After they gave us the diagnoses, the doctors all said the best thing to do was end the pregnancy as soon as possible because there was no way she was going to survive,” Ms Cullen-Delsol said. “They said that if it wasn’t against the law, they would have done it for me in the morning.”

Many women in the same situation travel to Liverpool Women’s Hospital for a termination. The hospital helps women transfer their medical files to Britain — something Irish doctors are legally forbidden from doing. Women who travel must arrange to bring coffins back on ferries, and sometimes the baby’s body is posted home.

Ms Cullen-Delsol said that travelling for an abortion seemed too traumatic, so her only choice was to wait until the baby died. “During those five weeks I could still feel her moving inside me, and every week the movement would get less and less — she was dying inside me,” she said. “Sometimes when I couldn’t feel her moving I would drink something cold and then something hot, and then I might try loud music, and then I might jump around to see if she’d move, just to be sure.

“I would wake up every day and say, ‘Is it going to be today? Is today going to be the day she dies?’ ”

© and source/ rest: The Times

(Excerpt etc. first posted on feimineach.com. Orig. attribution above.)

#womensstories: ‘I had to wait for my baby to die inside me’ (Ireland)