O'Neill-White, Siobhán (Siobhán O'Neill)
O'Neill-White, Siobhán (Siobhán O'Neill)
Married David White (salesman; writer), c. 2002; children: Mitchell, Robyn, and April.
Businesswoman and writer. Motorola, began c. 1995; Oracle, worked until 2004.
(With husband, David White) We Lost Our Baby: One Couple's Story of Miscarriage and Its Aftermath, Liffey Press (Chester Springs, PA), 2007.
Siobhán O'Neill-White is a businesswoman and writer. O'Neill-White began working for Motorola in the mid-1990s. She later worked for Oracle until 2004, when she retired from the international business sector to focus on her writing career and stay at home with her first son. O'Neill-White first partnered with David White in the late 1990s. They married five years later, and she became pregnant on their honeymoon.
Twelve weeks into her second pregnancy, however, O'Neill-White noted some bleeding and went to the hospital to be examined. The doctor initially was not able to find the baby's heartbeat but later conceded that it was simply a weak heartbeat, suggesting that the baby was probably not developing as it should. Incensed with the doctor's perceived lack of empathy, particularly as the bleeding continued to get worse the following day, the couple decided to go to a different hospital. Somewhat comforted by the new doctor's assurances that they would take the issue up the following day, the pair settled down to bed. However, that night O'Neill-White suffered even more blood loss after feeling as if her water had broken. White rushed her to the hospital but was not allowed to stay with her in the emergency room. After several hours, she overheard the nurse discussing her miscarriage with a doctor from a different ward on the phone; that was the first time she knew of the condition of her unborn baby. Her husband was not even informed as O'Neill-White was moved to a different room. The hospital offered no counseling and did not provide the pair with support groups that existed in their community. Both became depressed over the miscarriage. While White began drinking to seek refuge from his pain, O'Neill-White became angry at the hospital's treatment of her and for not providing enough answers. They lost friends over the incident and their marriage suffered. After seeking counseling, though, O'Neill-White began to write down her feelings on the various issues which had troubled her. White read her diary and the pair decided to turn it into a tool to help others who had been in their position.
O'Neill-White published her first book, We Lost Our Baby: One Couple's Story of Miscarriage and Its Aftermath, in 2007 with her husband. The memoir tells about the pair's difficult time accepting the miscarriage and the treatment they received from the hospitals that attended to their case. O'Neill-White wrote the account with the intent of helping others deal with having a miscarriage and bringing to light the resources and support available to couples facing this type of personal trauma.
Gregory Carr, writing in Read Ireland Book Reviews, summarized that "their beautifully written poignant story, dealing with an issue that is too rarely acknowledged and discussed openly, is one of complete and heartrending honesty." A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews described the book as "a frank, touching joint memoir." Taking note of the book's "openness," the same critic stated that "this account excels in providing the perspectives of both partners." The critic then concluded that the memoir could serve as "a balm for any whose lives have been touched by miscarriage."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
O'Neill-White, Siobhán, and David White, We Lost Our Baby: One Couple's Story of Miscarriage and Its Aftermath, Liffey Press (Chester Springs, PA), 2007.
Irish Independent (Dublin, Ireland), September 13, 2007, "‘I Was Angry with the Hospital’"; February 11, 2008, Sue Leonard, "How We Fought for Our Marriage."
Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2007, review of We Lost Our Baby.
Read Ireland Book Reviews, June 9, 2007, Gregory Carr, review of We Lost Our Baby.