If episode one of The Rotunda set in the world's oldest maternity hospital in Dublin, was an emotional watch for viewers, Thursday's second episode was revealed to be as heartbreaking as the series' opener.


 Ireland's version of One Born Every Minute - it offers a glimpse into the highs and lows of human life; the screams that come from pain and ultimately joy upon the safe delivery of their baby, the silence of devastating loss, and the emotion of bewildered fathers as helplessness turns to complete awe.


It was full of joyous highs and of course, crying babies as mum-of-four Nikkita gave birth to her son, and João and Marianna welcomed their beautiful baby daughter.


Mum-of-three Olivia also impressed viewers and she attempted to have a completely natural birth without any pain intervention.   




And who could forget the Ed Sheeran jokes with a fascinating insight into the life of one of only eight male midwives in the hospital (thank you Sean, the midwife) and a yearning from viewers over some certain cupcakes? 




Yet it was the reality of the devastating lows that once again, had us moved to tears.


It was Michelle and her heartbreaking attempt to see baby Micheal brought safely into the world that struck the biggest chord. Doctors battled to save his life; a baby born at just 24 weeks, weighing just 395 grams. But, tragically, it was not to be. His lungs were too immature to work by themselves, and Michael also suffered from growth restriction in the womb, which meant his chances of survival were lessened.


Michael's mother Michelle heartbreakingly already lost four babies at a similar gestation, and it had been just ten months since she lost another baby, also called Michael.


"I've lost so many babies," Michelle said before his birth. "It pains me a lot.  It is so painful, even to the staff.  I'm naming this one Michael after him.  When he passed I saw him, I looked at him, I thought, 'Oh God, I wish you could stay with me but I know you will come back to me and I want you to come back to me soon." 



When he was delivered, the staff were shocked to find Micheal was even smaller than expected, weighing just under a pound and being one of the smallest babies ever cared for in the hospital. Sadly, he passed away soon after his arrival. 


Viewers quickly praised the incredible mum for her strength and bravery; united in grief with her.  






The Rotunda will continue on RTE2 every Thursday at 9.30pm for the next four weeks.