A MUM from Dromore has drawn on her own experiences of miscarriage to try to help others in the same situation, with her new book set to help explain such a loss to children.

Written by Irene Teague, and illustrated by local artist, Gráinne Knox, ‘We Had To Say Goodbye Before We Even Met’ tells the story of losing a brother and sister through the eyes of Irene’s daughter, Erin-Rose.

Last year, when Irene and her husband, Andrew, were told at 23 weeks gestation that their baby boy, Caidain, wouldn’t survive, the couple found it very difficult to tell their children the heartbreaking news.

This was the second baby the couple had lost during pregnancy; a baby girl, Anna, was stillborn at 18 weeks, in 2017.

“Telling our children was very difficult. I struggled, as I was so worried about how they would react,” shared Irene, noting that she struggled to find appropriate resources to help explain the loss of a baby in a child-friendly way.

Irene explained that she told her two children Andrew and Erin-Rose in a gradual way.

She said: “I initially told them that the baby was sick, they both immediately expressed that it would all be okay and the baby would get better.

“Then I told them that the baby was really sick; again they astounded me with their optimism and hope that the doctors would help the baby, and the baby might be in hospital for a long time but we could visit the baby.”

She then knew she had to be open and honest with her children, no matter how hard it was.

“I dreaded telling them and it was so hard. They both were very upset.

“Erin-Rose, the oldest, cried and screamed, ‘Not again, mummy’, ‘It’s not fair’, ‘What did we do wrong?’ and the hardest was, ‘God must hate us’.

“I suppose what she said, I had similar sentiments when I first heard the news. Erin-Rose was unaware that this type of loss unfortunately happens to many families.

“I think that knowing this fact helps to ease that sense of ‘Why us?’, and ‘What did we do wrong?’,” added Irene.

Wanting to help others who have gone through a similar experience as her family, Irene was inspired to write a book for children to help them understand the loss of a baby.

She hopes the book will help them to know that other children have experienced similar loss, and have had similar thoughts and feelings to them.

“In writing this book, my sincerest hope is to bring a little comfort to this very painful experience,” said Irene.

“I also wanted to bring hope - that after terrible tragedy, the intense feelings lessen, and they can still think of their brother or sister in spirit, and remember them in special ways.”

All monies raised by the sale of this book will go towards supporting families bereaved by pregnancy loss.