Posted by: irishdad | September 19, 2009

A subtle change

I have changed the tagline of this blog to read “A regular dad, dealing with the stillbirth of a baby girl” – it used to say ‘…dealing with the death of a newborn baby girl’ but that suggests that our Littlegirl was alive when she was born, when sadly she was not.

I don’t really like the term ‘stillbirth’ as sometimes people refer to children who have been stillborn as ‘a stillbirth’ which to my ears strips the children of the limitless potential that they held before they died.  They are babies whose whole lives have been imagined while their arrival was anticipated, not statistics. They are children who are gone but have left a vacuum on this earth, an eighty year long space where nothing that might have happened will now occur.

Having said that I’ll use the word ‘stillbirth’ here as it does convey what happened to Littlegirl  more accurately. She never got to draw a breath, to live, although to us we felt her moving about inside her mother and limbering up for life on The Outside during the months that she rested up for her big day.

Littlegirl’s death has certainly changed my perception of what it is to be alive. Once I would have thought that we only to be alive at birth while now I’d argue that there’s a thread of life that extends back into the womb. How far back I cannot tell…is a baby ‘alive’ from conception, from the time she is viable outside the womb with all the support of modern medicine?

That I cannot answer.



  1. I don’t like using the word stillborn. Somehow it negates my sons existence in some people’s eyes, then again what do I care what those people think…

    But he was still, when he was born. All of a sudden. yet, I carried him un-still for all his life.

    My husband said Fionn sublimated like an element jumping the stage liquid, ie went from solid to gas skipping the liquid stage. I’m not sure if everybody has the same liking to this idea, but I liked it.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

    P.S. is that DL habour? I can’t figure it out… doesn’t look like it, if it is, it’s a very unusual angle.

    • Hi Ines,

      It’s Howth Harbour, pretty early on a spring/ early summer morning.

      I think your husband’s thoughts are apt.

      And yes, I think we’ll all go mad if we don’t find a way to rise above what other people say or do or think or don’t say. I’m working on it, but it’s a long road!!

  2. Hi Irish Dad
    I’m a “stillbirth” mum from Australia who has just stumbled upon your blog. My husband and I lost our firstborn baby girl in August 2008, five days past her due date after a very normal and healthy pregnancy. We’re also now expecting another child – a little boy due late November.
    I too hate the word stillborn, especially when people say I had a “stillborn”. I didn’t have a stillborn, I had a baby. Yes, she was stillborn. But she was my baby first and foremost. And always will be. I hate the event defining who she is.
    I look forward to following your story, although I am so dreadfully sorry you have to be here.
    With love and warm wishes for you and your family

  3. Irishdad,

    I came to your blog via Catherine. We lost our second daughter, Iris, back in May 2008. Catherine mentioned your blog to me when we were emailing about my husband’s experience of grief and loss. Thank you for providing an all too rare insight into the daddy experience.

    I’ll be following your journey.

    Jess (

    • Hi Jess,
      I’m sorry to meet you under these circumstances & to hear about Iris, but it’s nice to meet you none-the-less.

  4. And I meant to say, I’m so sorry about Littlegirl. So, so sorry.

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