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I Never Saw Him

An lrishwoman of the 'sixties tells her story
as told to Angela Byrne
by Angela Kasey

Copyright 2000 Angela Byrne


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It was over thirty years ago when it happened. l had been
feeling unwell for a couple of weeks and so l went to see a
doctor. No my own G.P.., but one close to the office where l
worked.  She examined me and took a couple of tests. Two
days later l received a phone call in the office. It was the
doctor. "You are four months pregnant" was the message
she gave me. It was beyond me. Shock, dismay, fear.  At
that time no precautionary measures had been in force and
l was having an affair with a married man, my boss.
He was stunned, he wanted to talk to my  father. l said no.
He said he would leave his wife, l would not have that either.
For the next five months my actions were normal. The
pregnancy was actually hidden from my family, wearing
the same clothes, going to work, socialising. No one at all
suspected, at least l thought so.  One Friday evening l told
my family l was off on a week's holiday with a friend of mine.
That night l checked into a private nursing home.  All along
the father was with me, paying in advance for my stay.  It
was two days before l went into labour. l have never
forgotten this. It was so bad l actually asked the nurse to
phone my mother.  Of course she never did.
A baby boy was born.  l never saw him.
l went back to work and l still went out with my boss.  The
baby was brought into the conversation now and again,
mostly when he had a few drinks.  l kept hoping for some
miracle that would allow me to see and keep my baby.
The adoption papers were not signed for six months. l held
out, hoping something, anything, would happen. l was afraid
to go and see the baby. l was so naive, and the father left me
to it.
l did give him a name though, and after all the years l found
it was still the same.  Every year when his birthday came
along l was absolutely filled with sadness and regret. l never
wanted to give him away, but it was a time in lreland when it
was a bad thing to have a baby out of wedlock.
After a few years l married.  No more children were ever
borne by me to my regret. l never told my husband of what
happened in the past.  l did see my former lover a few times
but the baby was never mentioned by him.
After all the years, the time has come when shortly l will see
my baby, now a grown man with children of his own. This
has come about after many years of searching, and at last
my plans are now coming to fruition. Through a social
worker l have had my first letter from my son. He tells me
his adoptive parents are loving kind people. That alone has
lightened my heart.  l will be seeing him soon, and feel very
nervous but happy about this.  He has told me in his letter
he knew he was  adopted when he was 7 years old and has
always wondered about me.
l have told him l never wanted to let him go. He has
always been and always will be in my heart.
l have sporadically kept in touch with his father. But he still
never talks about his son, although should all go well l am
sure he will want to see him.  We both must remember he
is a grown man now, but to me he will always be my baby.
l wonder how l will feel when we meet.
l know l am only one of many thousands of lrishwomen who
went through the same thing.  We can only be thankful that
society has changed now for the better.
lt was a sad lonely time, but soon it will be a happy reunion.


I am happy to say that this lady and her son were reunited and are now happily living in the U.S.A. where her son is married and a whole new life has begun for her.

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