Woman Jumped To Her Death After She Found Out She Was Pregnant With Twin Boys

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 A
pregnant mother-of-two who desperately wanted a daughter jumped from a
cliff-top when she discovered the twins she was carrying were boys, a coroner’s
court has been told. Anna Byrne, 35, a nurse from Dunboyne,
County Meath, was left ‘devastated’ when ultrasound scans in March this year
showed she would be having two more boys.
In the months before her death she
noticed baby girls everywhere and avoided her friends – particularly those with
daughters. In the early hours of March 8, six days after attending a
psychiatrist complaining that she was feeling low, she jumped from a cliff-top
at Howth summit, Dublin, the city’s Coroner’s Court was told.

Mrs Byrne was in the
last days of her pregnancy and was due to give birth by caesarean section on
March 29.

Her husband Terry
described the final conversation the couple had before she died. He said at the
inquest into her death: ‘We told each other that we loved each other and she
said “I’ll see ya later”.’
The coroner returned an
open verdict because he could not say beyond reasonable doubt that the mother
intended to take her own life.
Dr John Sheehan,
consultant psychiatrist at the Rotunda hospital in Dublin, said he met Anna and
her husband on March 2 and considered her at ‘low risk’ from self-harm.
The heavily-pregnant Mrs
Byrne had been referred into his care by a midwife after she admitted her mood
was low.
She had suffered from
depression from her early 20s and her first pregnancy in 2004 ended in
miscarriage.
She went on to give
birth to two little boys, Joe and Aidan.
‘However, she felt part
of her life was missing because she had two sons and no daughter,’ Dr Sheehan
said.
Mrs Byrne found out 20
weeks into her third pregnancy that she was carrying boys again. She was left
‘devastated’ and unable to sleep for several nights.
She admitted to her GP
she didn’t feel maternal and also felt ‘overwhelmed’ at the prospect of having
four boys.
‘She began to notice
baby girls everywhere’, Dr Sheehan said.
Terry Byrne said his
wife ‘put on a front’ to friends and family, but privately was ‘drained’.
The couple had talked
about flying to Greece, where they would be allowed to select the sex of their
child through assisted reproduction treatment.
Dr Sheehan added that
Mrs Byrne had been tearful at times during their meeting but showed no signs
she was feeling suicidal.
He increased her dosage
of anti-depressants and prescribed anti-histamine to help her sleep. Mr Byrne
spoke of his final contact with his wife the day before she died.
She had been heading to
the supermarket when they spoke on the phone at about 11am on March 7.
Mr Byrne said: ‘At the
end of the call, I told her to phone anytime if there was anything. We told
each other that we loved each other and she said “I’ll see ya later”.’
He first became aware
she was missing at 1.30pm when she failed to collect their son from Montessori
School.
Mr Byrne checked with
the supermarket and all the local maternity hospitals, and rang her friends.
He called Gardai in
Dunboyne at 3.30pm and just after midnight, her car was found by a friend at
Howth summit. Gardai found a ‘heart-rending’ farewell note in the car.
A search and rescue
operation followed but was called off at 3.30am and her body was recovered from
the base of the cliff at 7.49am.
It was established that
Mrs Byrne had been dead for eight to ten hours and a post-mortem examination
gave the cause of death as the multiple injuries due to a fall from a height.
The master of the
Rotunda Hospital, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith said that Mrs Byrne did not indicate a
history of depression when she registered the pregnancy.
However, this
information about her mental health was available in the notes made about her
previous pregnancies.
In February, Mrs Byrne was noted to be ‘anxious’ about her
pregnancy.
Speaking at the court,
her father John Deeney asked why she had not been admitted to hospital for
observation at this point.
Dr Sheenan replied this
was only done in severe cases of mental illness and there were no indications
she was feeling suicidal and she had made future plans.
Coroner Dr Brian Farrell
said although he was not saying Mrs Byrne did not want to take her own life,
the evidence did not satisfy the legal test for a verdict of suicide.
Consequently, he
returned an open verdict.
Read more: Dailymail

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