A woman who fell pregnant at the age of 17 says she was kept hidden in a room for four months.
Marion, from Cork in Ireland, claims her parents were ashamed of the news and wanted to keep it a secret.
“No one was told and no one was to be told I was pregnant,” Marion explained while appearing on The Neil Prendeville Show on Red FM .
And after she did give birth, her baby was taken away from her and adopted, RSVP Live reports.
It would be 26 years until they would meet, and the ordeal has left Marion heartbroken.
Marion was terrified when she fell pregnant.
At 20 weeks she confided in a teacher who brought her to a nun who was a family friend.
“I was reared in a public house in Cork and customers would have to come through a private part of the house so I’d be made stay upstairs for about four months.”
She says her meals were brought up to her room by her parents.
The one time a month she’d leave the house would be to see her gynaecologist.
Then towards the end of her pregnancy, Marion says it was decided she would give birth to her baby a month early in St. Finbarr’s Hospital.
“The gynaecologist, with the permission of my parents, decided that the baby was going to be born a month early," she explained.
"There was a relation coming over from England so it had to be done and dusted before they came.
“[Labour] was horrendous. Something I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget it until the day I die.
"I remember blood all over the beds and the nurses were looking at me and saw what I was going through.”
Marion gave birth to a boy and was immediately taken by ambulance to Bessborough Mother & Baby Home.
She said: “I was incapable of walking or talking, I could hardly see my eyes were red.
“I knew then he was going to be taken, but I didn’t realise that once the doors of the ambulance were opened a nun would be there with her arms open to take my child."
Teenager Marion did not see her son again – for years.
He was adopted and Marion’s family a few days later brought her home from Bessborough.
“It was just a very cold time in my life. I was naive, I actually thought I was going to have a baby by the end of it,” she recalled.
What Marion had gone through was not spoken about in the family home, and in the years that followed she struggled to cope with the tragic experience and turned to alcohol.
She says she has no recollection of signing the initial papers authorising the adoption of her son, who she names Anthony.
Marion tracked down Anthony and met him face to face 26 years after the birth.
“He came down to Cork to meet me. I explained what happened and thought it went well even though it was very emotional.
"The second time he met me he wanted to leave me at that. I was brokenhearted and it was years and years after before we had contact again,” Marion tearfully said.
Marion went on to get married and have three children, and although she is grateful for her family which she describes as “amazing” now, she admits that she is still not over the trauma of her experience with Bessborough and her chronic alcoholism.
“It was the worst thing that ever happened me. When they say it gets worse, believe me it does. It absolutely destroyed my life.”
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