- “For many years now I have been supporting couples and their families on a different journey – from diagnosis to delivery and beyond …
The minute you tell expectant mothers that there is something wrong with their baby, you shatter their dream of bringing home a healthy baby! Every journey is difficult, unique and each outcome is different so the approach for care needs to be tailored to individual needs.
This inspired me to develop a holistic and supportive model of care to help couples to experience a difficult journey in the most positive way. While individual outcomes can vary from a positive one to a sad loss of a baby, all parents do well from creating memories along each stage of their different journey.
In 2012, Linda and Ken Walsh were the first couple to get on board with my idea and trusted me to take them on their journey with Caoimhe. With support and guidance, they successfully turned a very difficult and sad journey into a positive experience and continue do so today.
Since then I have gained valuable experience from observing couples who have been diagnosed with fetal anomaly and listened to feedback regarding their needs. The approach needs to be guided by us professionals, be soft and creative. It has shaped the concept into what it is today and I know this works because parents tell me it does.
In 2017, parents Laura Snee and Ross McConnell in honour of their son Mikey who passed away from a fetal anomaly, held ‘Mikey’s Ball’ a fundraiser that raised over €33,000 of which €22,116 was donated to the Rotunda Foundation to develop The Journey Initiative.
This initiative would not be possible without Laura and Ross’s support to which I, my colleagues at the Rotunda Hospital’s Prenatal Diagnosis Clinic, and the Rotunda Foundation, are extremely grateful.
The initiative has developed to date and continues to support other couples and is funded through donations to the Rotunda Foundation.
Author – Jane Dalrymple, Clinical Midwife Specialist, Fetal Medicine, Rotunda Hospital.