IN ‘Síle Seoige: Deireadh Tochta’, the broadcaster and mother explores the grief, hopes, fears and frustrations of those who have gone through miscarriage.
The hour-long documentary, which airs on TG4 on Wednesday night, April 7 at 9:30pm, sets out to put an end to the culture of silence and stigma around this terrible loss that is experienced by so many.
In ‘Deireadh Tochta’, Síle Seoige meets with women, couples, doctors and service providers in an effort to investigate the medical, emotional, psychological, and sociological elements of miscarriage, to help society understand it better.
Two years ago, Síle decided to open up about her own miscarriage on her social media platform and was overwhelmed by the response that she received, describing it as “an avalanche” of replies from people who had been through the same thing.
It was this response that prompted Síle’s desire to start a national conversation on miscarriage. It is estimated that 14,000 Irish women miscarry each year and that approximately 20 per cent or one in four of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, yet most who experience this tend to do so in silence.
Síle, along with other Irish women just like her will talk openly about miscarriage and how it has impacted their lives.
Her emotional journey takes her around the country into the homes of some of these women and couples who, in many cases, have never spoken publicly before about their miscarriages.
She ventures to the Cork University Maternity Hospital where the innovative Pregnancy Loss Research Group are based and to the Beacon Care Fertility clinic and Neo-Fertility to explore her own treatment options before deciding which direction to go in herself.
Meteorologist Joanna Donnelly tells Síle about her own experiences of miscarriage and the harrowing physical and emotional realties of losing a pregnancy. She emphasises the devastating effect this can have on the well-being of a mother in the long term and passionately believes that the damage of silence can be immeasurable.
Rosanna Davison’s history of 14 miscarriages is harrowing and she tells Síle about the impact that this had on her mental health and even her marriage.
Being unable to carry a baby past two months gestation, both she and her husband Wes decided to have a baby girl through surrogacy. As parents of a new-born baby, they were blissfully content and after a couple of months were completely shocked to find out that they were naturally pregnant with twins – and the pregnancy was going great. Rosanna believes that a stress-free life filled with happiness and contentment helped her pregnancy along.
Celebrated author and UCD professor Angela Bourke has never spoken publicly about the miscarriages that she experienced as a young academic in the 1980’s. Never going on to have a child, she offers a different perspective, saying that she has enjoyed her life greatly and continues to do so, albeit without a young family.
Professor Keelin O’Donoghue leads a team in Cork University Maternity Hospital that are at the forefront of research that is being undertaken to investigate the effect of miscarriages on mothers and the treatment options that can be offered in individual cases.
While giving Síle a fact-based medical explanation of what happens when women miscarry, she also emphasises the importance of how women are cared for in the aftermath. Keelin believes that this care can often determine the success of their future pregnancies.
In an effort to explore all of her options, Síle meets with fertility coach Helena Tubridy who helps her to try to find acceptance and heal from her previous losses. This emotionally charged form of therapy is of a great benefit to women who are having difficulty with emotional processing in the aftermath of a miscarriage. These and several other interviews feature in ‘Deireadh Tochta’.