'I have lost so many babies': Episode 2 of The Rotunda was heartbreaking
If episode one of The Rotunda, set in the world's oldest maternity hospital in Dublin, was an emotional watch for viewers, Thursday's second episode was revealed to be as heartbreaking as the series' opener.
Ireland's version of One Born Every Minute – it offers a glimpse into the highs and lows of human life; the screams that come from pain and ultimately joy upon the safe delivery of their baby, the silence of devastating loss, and the emotion of bewildered fathers as helplessness turns to complete awe.
It was full of joyous highs and of course, crying babies as mum-of-four Nikkita gave birth to her son, and João and Marianna welcomed their beautiful baby daughter.
Mum-of-three Olivia also impressed viewers and she attempted to have a completely natural birth without any pain intervention.
That woman who did it all natural just amazing #TheRotunda
— rose slattery (@RoseSlatter) September 20, 2018
And who could forget the Ed Sheeran jokes with a fascinating insight into the life of one of only eight male midwives in the hospital (thank you Sean, the midwife) and a yearning from viewers over some certain cupcakes?
I didn't get a cupcake #therotunda
— @wanderingpram (@wanderingpram) September 20, 2018
— MummyPages Ireland (@MummyPages) September 20, 2018
Yet it was the reality of the devastating lows that once again, had us moved to tears.
It was Michelle and her heartbreaking attempt to see baby Micheal brought safely into the world that struck the biggest chord. Doctors battled to save his life; a baby born at just 24 weeks, weighing just 395 grams. But, tragically, it was not to be. His lungs were too immature to work by themselves, and Michael also suffered from growth restriction in the womb, which meant his chances of survival were lessened.
Michael's mother Michelle heartbreakingly already lost four babies at a similar gestation, and it had been just ten months since she lost another baby, also called Michael.
"I've lost so many babies," Michelle said before his birth. "It pains me a lot. It is so painful, even to the staff. I'm naming this one Michael after him. When he passed I saw him, I looked at him, I thought, 'Oh God, I wish you could stay with me but I know you will come back to me and I want you to come back to me soon."
#TheRotunda not much that makes me shed a tear but that little baby at 24 weeks. Poor little Michael
— Alan Duggan (@duggo11) September 20, 2018
When he was delivered, the staff were shocked to find Micheal was even smaller than expected, weighing just under a pound and being one of the smallest babies ever cared for in the hospital. He sadly passed away soon after his arrival.
Viewers quickly praised the incredible mum for her strength and bravery; united with her in grief.
— Deirdre Conway (@deedee147) September 20, 2018
Every piece of me is broken for baby micheal and his mama…heartbreaking #TheRotunda
— trina kenny (@Teesluck) September 20, 2018
Another amazing & emotional episode. Happy & sad endings for these brave women. Big shout out to the great midwives delivering little miracles every day. Something tells me I will be crying watching every episode in this series #TheRotunda
— Marie (@Marie78420038) September 20, 2018
The Rotunda will continue on RTE2 every Thursday at 9.30pm for the next four weeks.