‘We got the words, I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat. I just started screaming hysterically’
Anne-Marie Murtagh lost her son, Patrick, at full term and even though she went on to have two more children, the trauma and grief are still raw
Anne-Marie Murtagh, holding a photograph of her son Patrick, who was stillborn, with daughters Hope and Grace and husband Paul Flood. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
We’re not meant to outlive our children. It goes against nature’s plan. And yet, for some parents, the harsh reality of life that doesn’t go according to plan means they become part of a club that no one wants to belong to, and no one ever asks to join.
Anne-Marie Murtagh’s pregnancy came as a welcome surprise following a 10-year gap. Her pregnancy was healthy and uncomplicated, but because of the size of her previous baby who had suffered shoulder dystocia at birth, she was keen not to go overdue. At her 40-week check-up, however, all was deemed well and she was sent home to be seen again the following week.