Receiving the gift of a baby

TRUDIE and Sean O’Doherty said ‘yes’ pretty quickly to having their pregnancy and the birth of their baby filmed for the second series of Here To Maternity.

The six-part observational documentary, based at CUMH, follows the joys and heartbreak faced by expectant parents and returns to TV screens on Sunday.

Trudie from Dungourney, Co Cork, became pregnant through IVF and the couple hope that by telling their story other people with fertility problems will be encouraged to seek help. “When I was going for IVF, it was the only waiting room I was ever in where people didn’t speak. There was just silence. People can be afraid even to go to the doctor but it’s only a visit and it will open up options.”

Trudie, 35, has two teenage children from a previous relationship and Sean, 33, is acknowledged by them as ‘Dad’. When the couple had been together for seven years and “nothing was happening”, they decided it was time to get tested.

“I discovered I had polycystic ovaries and Sean had a low sperm count. The fact it wasn’t just down to Sean, it was me as well, was a help. Sean is very open-minded but the fact the problem was between the two of us meant neither resented the other.”

Trudie got pregnant on her first IVF cycle and, aside from getting sciatica in the final five weeks — which confined her to bed — she had a trouble-free pregnancy.

Trudie’s midwife, Adrienne Murphy, talks on the programme about how “some women go mad” during labour. “They’d be cursing and swearing at you as the midwife. I’ve been bitten and kicked,” she says.

Trudie’s was a different kind of labour. “I went down to the labour ward at 10.50 and he was born at 11.50. At the end, I had to get gas and air but that was just for the afterbirth.”

Seeing baby James “was heaven”, she says. “And Sean was over the moon. James is his pride and joy.”

Now five-month-old, James is Sean’s first birth child. “It’s like I am giving him a gift and what better gift than a baby,” Trudie says.

Trudie and Sean have seven frozen embryos out of their IVF cycle and plan to try getting pregnant again in August.

*From Here To Maternity begins on Sunday, Jul 8 on RTÉ One at 8.30pm

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