Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Do they make them like this anymore? Part 1

While waiting for my scan tomorrow I'm trying to distract myself reading and commenting on other blogs, but there is one story I would like to share with you and is that of my mother-in-law. I'll break the story in parts so not to have a very long single post, but this is a woman who has gone through a lot and I never heard her complaining.

Yes, we are very different people, different upbringing and certainly different ideas on many aspects of life. But when it come to face difficulties this woman is truly inspiring.

MIL got married some 45 years ago in Ireland. A year later, right on track she was pregnant. My SIL was born and they were a very happy family. But MIL kept having a very high blood pressure even months after SIL was born, and when eventually she was checked out, she was diagnosed with severe kidney failure. I think probably at that time she had something like 30% of her kidney functionality. She was told she will have to be on dialysis and put on a transplant list but meanwhile to make sure she didn't get pregnant as she would not have survived childbirth. Note that in Ireland contraception was illegal at the time, and I didn't really ask how they went about it. MIL suggested to adopt another child, it was very popular and quite easy at the time, but FIL was not on board. So she was resigned to a family of three and went on with her life.

Five years went by and one day she realises she is pregnant. It's a death sentence as far as she knows. But what can she do? She has no option, or she doesn't want the option. Being very religious I'm sure she believed that this was her path and she would have taken whatever was coming. Can you imagine being pregnant and knowing your life is going to end possibly without you ever seeing the baby? To be honest I don't know how she coped. She told me she only bought one small outfit for the baby, she wouldn't have been the one to see him growing up, better leave it to whoever would have looked after him. I'm sure she had things organised, she wouldn't just leave it to her husband to sort it out afterwords. When she thinks of that time she tears up every time. But she also tells the story as a very matter of fact, not to have you feel sorry for her or anything. The time comes and she comes to Dublin to deliver the baby. Hospitals here are not super nowadays, I can't even imagine what they were 37 years ago and rural Ireland was definitely not the place to give birth when complications (ie maternal death) were expected. Mike was born and MIL didn't die. She had her kidney rechecked and amazingly no further damage from the second pregnancy was caused.
Mike grew up with his mom in and out of hospitals. Sometimes it was for just a few days, some others for much longer. She suffered a massive internal haemorrhage at one point due to poorly managed blood thinning agents and Mike recalls being in the hospital with the priest by her bed for the final rights.
Eventually after years of dialysis she gets the call that a kidney had become available for her. She was so lucky to find a perfect match and the kidney was only six years old. This happened about 20 years go and she was given a new life.

To be continued.


  1. Wow... What a story.

    My grandmother was told not to get pregnant for similar reasons and, when she got pregnant with my youngest aunt, abortion had just become legal in the U.S. She declined for moral reasons, and today, she and my 36 yo aunt are just fine.

  2. Such an amazing story. Thanks for sharing! Look forward to hearing the rest.

  3. Amazing, can't wait to hear the rest of the story!

  4. Great story - I love to hear about inspiring women. Can't wait to hear the rest!

  5. You've got me hooked here. I love hearing these kinds of stories. I can't wait for installment two. We are here to keep you company for tomorrow. Fingers are waay crossed, and my freakishly long toes. ;)

  6. An amazing story, I am looking forward to hearing the rest.

    And good luck for your scan!

  7. Holy cow. I don't even know what to say. That is just crazy and amazing and sad.

    I guess I can say I am so glad she is around, and so glad that she was able to bring Mike into this world without it ending her own life. I can't even imagine how she must have felt throughout her pregnancy. Wow.

    I can't wait for the second part. I'm on tenderhooks here!

  8. I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for part 2! You are a good storyteller, and I felt like I wanted to cry with and hug and cheer for your MIL as I was reading. She sounds like an amazing woman.

    Good luck with your scan! I'm holding my breath for you and Elvis!

  9. Oh fran, I want to hear the end of the story *stomps feet*!

    I had not even thought about how terrifying it would be to know you were pregnant and might not survive the birth. What a strong and noble woman she is, I can't wait to hear the rest.

    And .... good luck for your scan tomorrow, I'll be thinking of you. :)

  10. Wow, that's amazing. Can't wait to hear the rest!

  11. What an amazing story. I can't imagine what she went through. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Wow, your MIL sounds like a super strong lady. I am sorry she has had to go through so much.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    ICLW #41

  13. Gosh, she's been through so much! What a story she has to tell. I'm so glad that it has a happy ending to boot! :-)


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