TJ’s birth story – Incompatible with life

I’ll start my story with the happy ending. As I write this, my 11 week old baby boy is sleeping peacefully in his moses basket. A wry smile plays on his lips as he dreams sweet baby dreams. I reach into the basket and gently run my hand across his high forehead and in that one action my happy ending is tinged with the sadness of events some twenty one months before. Continue reading


“May I break your waters?” Information on Artificial Rupture of Membranes

One of the most common forms of routine interference in labour is an artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) – sometimes referred to as ‘breaking’ or ‘releasing’ your waters.

Protecting your baby – the important job of amniotic fluid

Amniotic fluid is a clear, slightly straw coloured fluid which surrounds the baby in pregnancy. Continue reading

Second time mum’s vaginal birth of twins with an epidural

When found out I was pregnant with twins I couldn’t believe it. This was my second pregnancy – no history of twins. I had rung the consultant I went with on my first child’s birth 6 years previously to book in but when we discovered I was pregnant with twins he was not overly supportive of a natural birth. We had recently moved and I decided to look into the regional hospital just up the road. Continue reading

A second time mum’s unplanned unassisted homebirth

My knowledge of “home birthing” was confined to my mother’s tales of how her then 15 year old aunt helped to deliver her on my Granny’s kitchen floor so like many mums when I discovered I was pregnant, the concept of having a home birth was not something that had entered my head, even though I wasn’t happy with the hospital birth I had experienced with my first child.

It was only when said mother mentioned that the daughter of family friends had had a home birth that I thought, hmm interesting I must look into that. And so my journey began. Continue reading

Exercise and Activity after Childbirth Survey: Research Participation

Today, 42 weeks brings to you a research participation opportunity from the Trinity College School of Nursing and Midwifery. This survey is for women over 18 who have given birth in the last 6 months to 3 years.

IMPORTANT – This is a two part survey:

Part 1 to be filled in between Wednesday, September 25th – Wednesday October 2nd

Part 2 to be filled in between Wednesday October 2nd – Wednesday October 9th (about a week from when you filled in the first part of the survey).

Please read the information below and if you would like to participate, and can commit to taking both parts of the survey a week apart, then follow the online link below. The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

Thank you!!

Information about the Exercise and Activity after Childbirth Survey

Who We Are and the Study Aims:

We are a team of researchers from the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin who have designed a survey on women returning to Exercise and Activity after Childbirth. The aim of the Exercise and Activity after Childbirth survey is to help us understand if leaking urine impacts women’s ability to exercise or the type of exercise they do after childbirth.

Why are you filling in this survey?
We want to find out:

– whether you have in the past or currently leak urine

– the frequency and the amount of urinary leakage

– the type, frequency and amount of exercise performed

– the level of confidence and sense of security with sports clothing worn during exercise

Who else is taking part in piloting this survey?

We have invited women, aged 18 and over, with a child/children aged 6 months to 3yrs who have returned to exercise after childbirth and may be interested in filling in the pilot of this survey. All of the women must be able to read and understand English.


Taking part in the pilot involves completing two questionnaires one to two weeks apart. If you decide to participate, your return of each survey means that you have consented to participate.

It does not matter if your responses on exercise, frequency and amounts have changed in the week between completing the surveys. We are simply seeking that you fill the survey out twice so we can gauge if you have noted any change in your pattern of exercise. We also wish to understand whether the questions asked in the survey are appropriate.

If you chose to take part we will ask you to fill in:

Survey 1 at your earliest convenience if you agree to participate.
Survey 2 one week after you have completed Survey 1.

Each survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. There are no right or wrong answers within each survey. Remember, you are under no obligation to participate at any stage if you do not wish to do so.


Although there may be no benefits to you directly, it is hoped that the knowledge generated from this survey will help us to better understand some of the health problems that women experience when returning to exercise after child birth.


There is no foreseeable risk to you taking part in this survey. If you choose at any time to not take part in survey you are free to do so.


At all times your identity will be protected. Nobody shall be informed that you participated in completing this survey. Information that may identify you will not be used in any paper or presentation resulting from the survey. If you wish to talk to anybody about the survey you are free to do so.

How will you protect my personal information?

– We will keep all the information you give us private and confidential.

– We will give your survey information a unique number (a code).

– We will store your personal details and your code number securely and separately from the completed surveys. They will be kept in a locked cabinet, in a locked office in an area where few people have access. Paper copies of the information you give on the surveys will be identified by your code.

– We will keep an electronic version of the information you give us on a computer. Only the research team will have access to this information. We will use passwords, encryption (special software to scramble the information so it cannot be read) and anti-virus software to protect the information on the computer.

What happens to the information at the end of the study?

We may publish the findings from the survey and may give talks about the findings at healthcare conferences. It will not be possible to identify you or your answers in these publications or talks.

Voluntary Participation:

You are under no obligation to participate in this survey. If you wish to stop participating at any time you are free to do so. You will not be asked for an explanation of your decision and you will not be penalised in anyway.

What do I do next?

Having read the information, decide if you would like to take part in filling out this survey.

If you want to participate, please complete this survey online (link below) when you have a free moment.

You must then fill out the same survey, one week after you have completed the first survey. It does not matter if your responses on exercise, frequency and amounts have changed within the past week. We are simply seeking that you fill the survey out twice so we can gauge if you have noted any change in your pattern of exercise.

If you do not have internet access or cannot fill this survey in online we will post you a FREEPOST RETURN survey pack for you to fill out. (Please contact Marie O’Shea (details below) if you wish to complete a paper version of this survey. We can then post one to the address you provide)

Further Information:

If you need any further information or if anything in this document is unclear, please contact Marie O’Shea at either 01 896 4166 or and she will be happy to discuss any of this information with you.

To take the Survey, click here: :

A third time VBAC mum’s empowering hospital birth after a traumatic birth

My first baby was a Caesarean for breech. It was quick, easy, and stress free – a generally positive experience. Regardless, I knew that if I got pregnant again, I would like to have a normal birth, not another Caesarean.

Fast-forward a year later, I’m pregnant!! This time, from early on, my baby was head down. I discussed the option of VBAC with everyone I could. Doctors. Midwives. Friends. Family. Online resources. I could not get enough information in me. I was healthy, fit, and everyone agreed, a fantastic candidate for a normal birth. Continue reading

Part 2: Our Birthing Journey Life & Death…finally Joy – Fighting for respect; My right to choose how and where I birth my baby.

On Monday, 42 weeks shared a birth story of a VBAC mum who was able to negotiate DOMINO care with a midwife in an Irish maternity unit. Her story is a must-read and is very popular. This second story, from the same woman, explains their birth journey and how they were able to negotiate the DOMINO care option.

Our Birthing Journey
Life & Death
…finally Joy

Fighting for respect;
My right to choose how and where I birth my baby. Continue reading

Communication Tools: Birth Preferences for your Birth Plan

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Your needs in birth are as individual as you are.

Your experience of labour and birth should be exactly that – YOURS. Every birth is unique and each woman will approach childbirth in her own way. It is important that you have the information you need to decide what is right for you and your baby, and that your experience of labour and birth reflects these wants and wishes. Continue reading

A Thank You Letter to My Anaesthesiologist

“When pregnant I was really looking forward to being able to share my positive birth story with the world through 42 weeks, however, the story of the birth of my son is no where near what I had planned or imagined and unfortunately not positive. There is someone who I would like to thank though (and I never thought this would be a person I would be thanking!) and that is the anaesthesiologist. My induced labour was long, extremely hard, with close together transition type contractions but not progressing. After using all my coping mechanisms I’d spent 9 months learning I opted for the dreaded epidural. Continue reading

What you need to know about: Electronic Foetal Monitoring (CTG)

42 weeks campaign, AIMS Ireland, CTG,

A woman has intermittent monitoring during labour in the birth pool. Photography by Claire Wilson, from the 42 weeks Pinterest gallery.

Electronic Foetal Monitoring

Electronic foetal monitoring is a commonly used practice in Irish maternity units.

Electronic foetal monitoring (EFM or CTG) measures your baby’s heartbeat in frequency and strength and measures your contractions. Continue reading

The Art of Birth: storytelling of birth photography – 42 weeks model, Audrey’s Birth


This gallery contains 1 photo.

This beautiful video is a mix of still shots and video of 42 weeks model, Audrey’s recent birth of her baby girl in OLOL Drogheda. Video and Birth Photography by Angela Martin, Redboots Photography