Hearing my baby boy cry

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I could hear my baby boy crying,
when they wheeled out all the others to be fed

The ward they put the women and girls from Carramar into at Hornsby Hospital was a small section with a few beds in it, which opened on to the passageway to the bigger ward/s where the mothers who were being allowed to keep their babies were.

I was the only girl in that section at the time.

In those days babies were kept in a nursery, and at feeding time were wheeled past me into the wards to be fed by their mothers.

All the babies except mine.

I could hear him crying and crying, presumably until he was fed. (I say ‘presumably’ because I was not allowed any information about my son - not even that he was a boy).

For 28 years and five months I heard his cry. Until, as a result of my having found his address and written to him, on a Friday afternoon at about 4 pm… he rang me and we talked for about an hour.

I can’t hear that cry any more. Thank God for that, it was terrible when I could.

The accompanying photo was taken by my uncle, who came with his family to stay with my family within three or four weeks of my son’s birth. He described me as ‘a stormy teenager on a stormy day’. Of course they hadn’t been told that I’d just been forced to give my baby away. They had no idea of the inner grief and desolation of this heartbroken fifteen-year-old girl, putting on a pleasant face to be polite and kind to visiting relatives.


I always wanted to keep my baby – I did not want him to be adopted out, I wish I had been told my rights as a mother, I would not have done it.