Pregnant woman commits suicide after learning she is carrying twin boys

Anna Byrne 
By: Aarav Sen 

A pregnant woman is believed to have committed suicide after learning that she is carrying twin boys instead of a girl she hoped to have.

The woman who already has two boys, was hoping to have a daughter and she was devastated when she learned that she was carrying two more boys.

The heartbroken husband of the pregnant woman, who was found dead at the bottom of a hill, said that he has spoken to his wife about 11:00 a.m., when his wife told him that she was going to the supermarket. Before hanging up the phone the wife said: “I love you. I will see you soon.” According to the husband there has been no indication that she was suicidal.

Her husband does not believe it was suicide. 35-year-old Anna Byrne, was found at the bottom of a cliff. The impact of the fall killed her and her unborn twin sons.

After Anna did not pick up her older son from school her husband Terry Byrne, arranged a search for her. The woman was found about 10 hours after falling to her death. She died from severe blows to the head.

Anna wrote a note in her car, which was addressed to her family, bidding them farewell. She left the note in her abandoned car, which was found in the vicinity of where her body was found.

Anna has been treated for depression ten years before she became pregnant. “She did not disclose this information to her obstetrician,” Dr. Sam Coulter-Smith, Master of the Rotunda Hospital, said.

"She said that she had planned her current pregnancy, hoping to have a daughter, but at 20 weeks she found out she was having twin boys. She was devastated," Anna’s psychiatrist Dr. John Sheehan of Rotunda Hospital said.

She was due to give birth by Caesarean section on March 29, he said. In mid-February, she was diagnosed as "anxious." Six days before her death, Mrs. Byrne and her husband attended a meeting with her psychiatrist in the Rotunda hospital. She told him that she felt "part of her life was missing" because she did not have a daughter.

She also told the psychiatrist that she had planned the pregnancy hoping to have a daughter. “Her mood was low, particularly in the evening, and she described a loss of interest. She was not feeling maternal. She said she was overwhelmed by the prospect of having four children, but expressed no intention of taking her own life,” the doctor said.

Her father John Deeney asked why she had not been admitted to a hospital for observation when she felt the anxiety. Dr. Sheehan responded that admission to a psychiatric hospital is only done in severe cases of mental illness.

Coroner Dr. Brian Farrell has not ruled the death as a definite suicide, but rather left the cause of death as open. Dr. Farrell said the note Byrne left in her car was a farewell letter and "particularly heart rending," but it was not dated. He also noted the difficult terrain Mrs. Byrne would have had to cross to get to the area where she fell and her lack of suicidal ideation.

He added that although he was not saying that Mrs. Byrne did not take her own life, the evidence heard in court did not satisfy the legal test for a verdict of suicide. Therefore, he returned an open verdict.
Dr. Farrell will also write to the board of the Rotunda Hospital reflecting Mr. Byrne's concerns about sharing of mental health notes with the obstetrics team in cases such as his wife.

The open verdict is an option open to a Coroner's jury at an inquest in the legal system in England and Wales. The verdict strictly means that the jury is unable to determine the cause of death.

Open verdicts are recorded in cases of suicide where the intent of the deceased could not be proved, although the verdict is recorded in many other circumstances.