'After losing nine babies I had my miracle boy on my tenth pregnancy'

A Trim mum who lost nine babies through miscarriage and stillbirth has told of her heartbreak and joy as she finally gave birth on her tenth pregnancy to her miracle baby boy.

On May 16th, 2007, Michelle and Stephen Daly’s life changed forever when their son, Christopher was tragically stillborn at 28 weeks.

Eight devastating miscarriages followed with Michelle admitting she had “given up hope of becoming a mother.”

Her journey of heartache ended with her tenth pregnancy that finally yielded the couple's 'rainbow baby' - their healthy little boy Dylan Patrick Daly who entered the world on 12th June 2020, weighing 7lb 0.5oz and making all her struggles worth it.

“Sometimes we look at each other and think we can’t believe we have him, we feel so lucky after all the loss to finally have our baby,” says Michelle.

Her long awaited son’s arrival into the world was after a long and painful road according to the besotted mum who suffered further turmoil when her dad Patrick passed away suddenly just six weeks before Dylan was born.

“It was traumatic and hit me really hard losing dad, having Dylan was the best thing to happen to me at the worst time in my life.

Little Dylan Patrick was a long awaited miracle for Michelle and Stephen Daly

“He died suddenly of a heart attack. We named Dylan after him, he had actually picked the name before he died so we named him Dylan Patrick.

“I still today look at him and maybe it will be something he's done or even a cheeky little giggle and think I wish dad was here to see him.”

In 2007, at around seven months pregnant, the Trim woman was told by her GP that she was in early labour and was sent straight to the hospital but doctors informed her there that the baby was not coming and she was sent home at 11pm.

“We went home and I went to bed still feeling unwell and shaken with some pain. I couldn't sleep and I felt a strong urge to go to the toilet. I went to the bathroom, sat down and felt like something other than wee was trying to come out.

“I reached down and felt the top of Christopher's head coming out. I screamed at Stephen and he took me from the toilet back onto the bed and rang an ambulance.

“Unfortunately because of his position Christopher came out breach and he was still born. He weighed less than 2lbs.

“He was alive and moving during the whole labour but because he came out feet first, they couldn’t get him out, he got stuck, his arms were up over his head and he didn’t survive.

“They lifted him up onto my chest and I remember looking at him this tiny little thing, he wasn’t moving but he just looked like he was asleep.

“There was no indication there was anything wrong. For the longest time after I kept thinking to myself if they had kept me in the night that my GP sent me in saying I was in early labour maybe things would have been different.”

“I just didn’t think I could love anyone as much we do Dylan"

Michelle originally from Dublin admits that the grief was often too much to cope with.

“I was a complete wreck, the only time I left the house was when Stephen brought me over to my parents for dinner and even at that I was just sobbing all of the time, I’d only sleep when I cried myself to sleep, then you wake up and the pain hits you again.

“I ended up getting grief counselling, it really does help talking to somebody else and I really would recommend any couple going through anything like that to try it.

“With the pregnancies after that they kept telling me you need to lose weight, they kept making me feel like the onus was in me and it was my fault that these things were happening.

"I still struggle with my mental health today. All those loses took their toll on me over time, I did turn to food for comfort.

“I have polycystic ovaries which makes it hard to conceive and carry a pregnancy too.”

It was only when Michelle started attending a new GP in Trim that everything changed as she explains:

“It was only through meeting my GP Mary Mulqueen that she got me on the right path. She discovered that I had a blood disorder which causes the blood to clot and can affect your pregnancy and she put me on medication.

“She became a good friend and recommended Karen Flood a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist and a certified specialist in Maternal Fetal Medicine in the Rotunda.

“I had given up hope at that stage but then discovered I was pregnant and decided to have the baby in the Rotunda.

“They had me back every week for a check up because of my history and they were just fantastic throughout my whole pregnancy.”

Dylan was born at 39 weeks by Emergency C Section realising the couple’s dreams of starting a family.

“I was in active labour and had dilated as far as they wanted and Dylan’s heart rate kept dropping so they said we need to get baby out now because he is not stable and they brought me straight in and out he came.

“Next thing they had him wrapped up and brought him over and he was just staring at me, our miracle baby was finally here healthy and happy.

“I just didn’t think I could love anyone as much we do Dylan.

“It was only through Stephen’s support and positivity; he was always saying it will happen for us and it did.

“I’d just tell anyone not to give up on their dream of having a family no matter how painful the road is, there is hope.”