the mothering

Repeal the 8th

In my country if I am pregnant I cannot choose whether or not I become a mother.

If I engage in sexual activity, willingly or not, and become pregnant, I should become a mother.

If I am poor, if I am struggling to pay the rent and become pregnant I should be a mother.

If I am in an abusive relationship, if my partner beats me or rapes me, I should become a mother to his child.

If I am a mother already and cannot afford to care for another child, the state would have me be a mother again.

If I am a child myself and become pregnant, I am no longer a child, I am a mother.

If I am mentally ill, if I am bi-polar or schizophrenic and become pregnant, I will become an unhealthy mother to a healthy child.

If my child is diagnosed with an abnormality or an illness which would cause death inside or outside the womb, or a life of agony and pain, that child should be born dead or alive and I should be a mother.

If I have been raped and as a result become pregnant, I should become a mother.

If a family member rapes me and impregnates me I should become a mother.

If I am 10, 20 or 50 years old I should become a mother regardless of how this affects my body or my mind.

My choices are as follows-, after I give birth,  if the child still lives, if I still live and can make the choice for myself I should give the child up for adoption, put the child into care or keep the child myself.  Those are my choices.

If we get the boat to England to get an abortion or order a pill online we are criminals, murderers and monsters and can be jailed for it.

This is 2018. This is the reality we face as women and girls today in Ireland. We are forced to be martyrs against our will. This is our cross to bear as females.

That if we are pregnant we are no longer people we are mothers.



Jenny Saville


Suicide and pregnancy and insanity

Its easier to say this on here. Where I am anonymous.

I would love to have the strength to say this out loud. To own my weaknesses and my mistakes.

But I am afraid. I judge myself, how could anyone else not?

If my children read this one day. How could they ever forgive me for what I have done.

I was very quiet over Christmas this year. My social media updates stopped around mid-December. My brain stopped updating around mid-December.

To be honest, I cannot remember really what happened.

It’s like recalling scenes from a movie. I remember the ending but not the bits in between. I remember the overall feeling.

I was sectioned in a mental hospital this Christmas for attempting to commit suicide while seven months pregnant.

After days spent in bed researching the best, the least painful and most effective ways to die I decided on suffocation/ strangulation. I tied a Tesco shopping bag around my neck. I used the strongest leather belt I own and I went to the closet and let go. As the panic set in, my breaths got deeper, the smell and noise and texture of the plastic literally filled my mouth and nostrils. It hurt. It really hurt. My back, my head, my neck.

J burst into the bedroom.

I screamed then, shocked and awoken from my daze, I ripped the bag, my hands gripped the brick wall and forced my feet to take my weight, screaming “GET OUT”

I sat then and cried and screamed and held my belly, my baby, not understanding why I hadn’t thought of him. I hadn’t even remembered I was pregnant it seemed. This much-wanted child was all but forgotten. He was sleeping inside me I think. Unmoving.

His strong kicks are a constant reminder of his presence and his company. I wonder if he knew what was happening.

I would have killed him to kill myself.

I would have left my son too, with no answers. A note that said “I’m sorry, I love you” Empty words. I just knew I should say something. I couldn’t string a sentence together in my mind. Never mind write. What else could I say?

And J. The greatest love I have ever known. A strong and kind and wonderful man that does not deserve to be left to explain what happened.

For two weeks I was hospitalised. I was nervous entering the unit. But I didn’t need to be. No one asked me what had happened. We all know why we were there.

“A danger to ourselves and others”

This is the second pregnancy where thoughts of suicide have battered me.  I hope there is not a next time. But if I could trust myself and my brain and my actions maybe I wouldn’t be mentally ill.

They think I am Bi-polar. That because I haven’t had treatment it has developed. I’m getting worse the older I get. I am more impulsive. Manic phases and patterns are starting to become clear. All of those years of pain and happiness look like hills and troughs and waves on a lie detector test.

Thi will be my last pregnancy. I am serious about my recovery. I don’t want to die. I want to be a mother. I want to know my children. I want to know myself and know that I am not this illness. That I used to be someone else. That I can be a person again and not a monster.


Gustav Klimt

Pregnant plus toddler plus puking

Pregnancy is so hard this time round. Two days ago I vomited 34 times, violent ugly interludes between prolonged pounding headaches and shaking and weakness.

Today it’s only been twice. So I think its starting to subside. I hope its starting to subside.

Although I thought having a toddler when I’m like this would make everything so much worse the opposite is true.

He speaks with me now. We sing together. He puts his sticky hands in my mouth so I’ll stop singing. I usually vomit again. And so my days go by.


Federica Bordoni

Tough Love

Its so tough at the moment.

We are both exhausted. We are both angry.

I’m not listening, hes not listening. Snapping at each other. Rolling my eyes. Shouting and crying. Lots of storming about the place.

Its not very nice at the moment.

We love each other but can’t stand the sight of each other lately.  I miss him.5b79e6285f61ccffe055e970eec37f79

Sue Yeon

All day Morning sickness

I’m 13 weeks now, I’m sicker now than before. Today alone I have counted 25 bouts of puking and dry heaving. Sweating. Shaking. Feeling like I want to die.

In between this me and Agoo played in the garden in the rain. We made a car out of a cardboard box. He drew on his knees with red permanent marker. I definitely gave him too many buns.

Children have an innate power to keep you present. My nurse said that my son would help me. She said he would help to stop me ruminating and allowing my thoughts to take a dark turn. She was right.

All of the happiness certainly helps too.


Alex Garant

Stop screaming

I’ve been thinking. Thinking about ways it could be all ended.

I am flirting with it. I have snuck out of bed. Gotten changed.

I’m wrapped up in a coat in the kitchen. I stood  for a while watching the clock on the oven.

Would it be better to go at night or day. Night I think to myself.

I googled it. I found out different ways. Things I hadn’t thought of. Some are so obvious.

I’m so tired.

J said that everything was OK last week. What has changed?

What has changed? Nothing.

I wasn’t OK last week.

I screamed and threw the laptop on the ground. The dogs started to growl at me.

“Stop screaming!”

“I’m not screaming!! I want to die. I’m not OK I’m not OK!!!Stop saying I’m OK, that everything will be fine next week. Stop speaking. Shut your fucking mouth.”

He called me a cunt then.

They deserve more than this.

I was planning my wedding this morning. Tonight I’m planning my death.


Rosanna Jones


Can’t sleep

My eyes feel full, swollen underneath them. My body is tingling. Especially my hands.

I’m angry. Irritable.

I lay down for hours today. I just couldn’t walk properly. Swaying. I thought I would fall on the road.

And i’m so hungry. Starved. My stomach hurts and is churning.

I feel nervous. I don’t want to order takeaway as I don’t want to open the door to anyone. I’m selling stuff online. The emails and questions I am getting are making me anxious. I don’t want to speak to anyone.


Afraid for the long night ahead. What will I torment myself with later?

I saw a dog scavenging in bins last night. I went to look for her. To give her food. But she was gone and I cant stop thinking about her. Thinking about something terrible happening to her. Alone and cold outside.

I want to put everything on pause. Life isn’t working today.


Daniel Martin




Resenting Breastfeeding

There I said it.

This will be an unpopular opinion and it is something I’ve only really shared with one person for fear of being chased with breast pumps and pitchforks.

I really resent breastfeeding most of the time.

I have been breastfeeding now for 10 months. My original plan was to try it for a week. Then a month and so on and so forth until before I knew it, it was all I knew.

Frankie loves it. He’s been teething. In pain. Waking frequently. It calms him instantly. We have moments of real tenderness. When he is sleepy in my arms. Or his little hands come up and cup my cheek. When he was sick in hospital I knew this was the only thing I could do for him. But also it was the very best nourishment he could get in the world. So that was cool.

But the shitty parts are pretty shitty. Not even counting the weeks of agony at the start. The Mastitis. The cracked nipples. The swollen, leaking, lopsided stranger boobs.

I’ve had a milk blister on Frankie’s favorite boob for a month now that seems to be here to stay. Ouch.

Mental health professionals have ALL told me that there are risks with any medications I take (I’m pretty sure this is wrong also). Guilt.

I’ve had surgery and was not prescribed painkillers afterwards and was incorrectly told to pump and dump after it. Bah.

When seeking weaning advice I am met with- “Why wean? Just feed him till he wants to stop!” ARE YOU JOKING???

I’m weaning him slowly. Its not his fault, it was my choice to do it. I have to live with it. Sometimes though I wonder what in the name of god I was thinking.

Yeah, yeah I know its best for the baby. I get it.

I’m weaning him slowly. My goal is to be finished in a months time. If not completely by then a year old is the deadline.


Henri Matisse





I cant sleep. I’ve been lying in bed for five hours. J on one side. Frankie on the other.


Too warm. Too cold.

Is that someone in the hallway?

The dog whimpers in its sleep. I bristle in the bed.

Why is this happening?

I read the daily mail website. Trash trash trash. It makes me feel worse.

I did everything right today. I spent an hour and a half patiently putting Frankie to bed. I made up with my sister. I went for a run in the rain with the dogs. I tidied the house.

I started to feel really happy. I started thinking about the wedding.

Then I started thinking about the fact Frankie took so long to go to sleep.

Am I a bad parent am I a bad parent?

Why does no one visit me?

Why have my parents never come to visit me since I had the baby?

Why does no one ask me how I am?

What I do all day? No one cares? No one cares about me?

No one believes me. They think I am making all of this up.

I have given everything up. I have given everything up.


Niamh Crowley






Its my party

One of the sadder side effects of my depression is that we have had to postpone getting married for a long time now.

Crippling anxiety and social anxiety left me wanting to elope for the last two years.

But then my parents said how upset they would be if they were not there. Its not their wedding- I know this but…it doesn’t feel right to run away. And that’s what it feels like to me.

Its like I’m giving into anxiety. I’m avoiding being the center of attention. I’m avoiding having to pretend to be happy all the while sweating in a too tight lace dress.

Nodding at people I don’t really know.

Worried about how much it is all costing.

But most of all I’m avoiding getting on with my life. I’m staying static. Fearful of the unknown. Fearful of change.

Today we spoke me and J. And we have it set now. We cant afford a big wedding. And we don’t want a tiny one. We are having one in our house instead. In the broken down crumbling ruins of our house. In the muddy and brick filled garden.

And honestly I feel so excited about it.

I want to be his wife. I want him to be my husband. I want to take his name. I want to have a party and dance and shout and laugh and cry.


Fanny Nushka Moreaux