'The silence was deafening’ – Mother recalls stillbirth experience

Féileacáin is a non-profit that supports mothers through stillbirths or neonatal deaths.
Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

15.46 15 Jan 2024

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'The silence was deafening’ –...

'The silence was deafening’ – Mother recalls stillbirth experience

Robert Kindregan
Robert Kindregan

15.46 15 Jan 2024

Share this article

A mother has described the “deafening” silence that came over the room when she gave birth to stillborn twins

Nina Boyle was driving home from an appointment one Thursday afternoon in 2018 when she felt a “sharp pain”.

By the time she reached home, “things began to escalate quickly” as her water broke.


On Lunchtime Live today, Ms Boyle said she went straight to the hospital where she received positive news from doctors in the delivery ward.

“We did a scan and they reassured us by showing us quite strong heartbeats,” she said.

“I was in such a panic that I couldn’t actually focus or see but I was reassured by the heartbeats.

“I was actually embarrassed for causing a fuss.”


Unfortunately, things soon changed when her labour began.

“Liam died just before he was born, he was a stillbirth, but I just remember them lifting him up,” said Ms Boyle.

“I immediately fell in love; I couldn’t believe he was here or how gorgeous he was – he was perfect.

“He lay up on my chest and I remember feeling that urge to push again and I really didn’t want to because they were safe when they were inside me.”


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Ms Boyle said she was reluctant to push a second time as she was told the child would not live.

“Grace arrived seven minutes after her big brother,” she said.

“The silence was deafening when Liam was born but this time there was a beautiful whimper - she was here and she was absolutely gorgeous.

“She lay on my chest beside her brother and I remember looking at my husband and feeling a rush of love.

“Grace lived for 31 minutes – It was a lovely special time for us.”


Ms Boyle said Féileacáin, a non-profit that supports mothers through stillbirths or neonatal deaths, was very helpful to her.

“We were given a memory box and we were able to make memories with Liam and Grace,” she said.

“We were also able to bring them home because Féileacáin provided cuddle cots to allow us to do that.

“There are so many things I’d like to change, obviously that Liam and Grace would be alive, but one thing I wouldn’t change is being their parent.”

Stillbirth and neonatal death experience Nina Boyle pictured when she was pregnant with twins in 2018.

Ms Boyle added she was “wowed” by the services they provided, which included fingerprint mementos of the twins.

“It meant that they were cemented in the family and it was a really lovely and special time that we had,” she said.


Féileacáin founder Máirie Cregan said she also experienced a stillbirth.

“My little girl was a surprise pregnancy if you’d like to call it that, as I was 45 when I had her,” she said.

“I always knew I would never have her, there was something about the pregnancy – I could never visualise it.

“I would have had everything ready and I remember bringing down the cradle from the attic and even washing it.”


Unfortunately, her child was stillborn but the experience motivated her to help others in the same boat. 

“If people don’t know anybody who has had a miscarriage or stillbirth, they don’t know what to do,” said Ms Cregan.

“I think the support is there now but sometimes it’s hard to reach out.

“It can be many months or years later you need the support, but we are always there.”

Ms Cregan added the charity is constantly developing new ways to keep the memories of stillborn children alive.

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article contact Féileacáin on (085)-249-6464 or (028)-51301

Main image: A woman holding her pregnant belly. Picture by: Tetra Images, LLC / Alamy Stock Photo

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