Where is the time going? Four weeks ago I gave birth to our daughter, Sadie Mooney, and in less than nine weeks Sadie, her 15-month-old brother Colum, my husband John and I will be settling into a new life in Ireland.
It’s been a fantastic and yet frenzied past few weeks. After spending four days in St. John’s Riverside Hospital I was discharged home with my pink-clad daughter.
The first week home was great. Sadie fell straight into a routine and only woke once or twice a night for a feed.
As we headed into the end of the second week we hit a few bumps on the road but thanks to good friends we are coming out the other end. My friend Deirdre Power, whom I’ve known since we were four years old, flew in from Ireland to help out the day Sadie turned two weeks. She was a godsend to say the least.
The night before she arrived Colum came down with a fever and Sadie decided she was bored with sleeping at night. So between looking after our son and a wide-awake frantically feeding newborn, John and I were sleep deprived.
This pattern continued through the week. Deirdre got up at 5 a.m. most mornings so I could go back to bed for a few hours of sleep.
A few days into her visit I came down with mastitis. A quick visit to the doctor revealed I also had an infection in my wound where I had the cesarean section.
I’ll hold back on the gory details, but since that day it’s been a lot of medications and a lot of giving out about the pain (and in between spluttering the words, “I really am grateful for my kids though.”)
I’m coming around now, but I’m still slow on my feet and depend too much on those around me.
hankfully it’s all curable, and hopefully by the time we get home to Ireland I’ll have fully recovered.
It hasn’t been all bad though. Seeing Sadie become so alert in the past few weeks has been fantastic. She responds to our voices and even looks like she is sharing a smile with us every now and then.
Colum is enjoying his little sister a little too much. He tries to give her a bottle, feed her his dinner, hug her too tightly and feels it’s his job to clean out her nose with his finger!
A gentleman’s family they tell me I have. During the quiet times John and I sit back and realize how happy we are, how having children around us really makes us a complete family. It’s a wonderful feeling that we wouldn’t change for anything.
NOW that the countdown to home is on (my mother keeps us updated on how many weeks, days and even hours it is before we land in Shannon) everything is becoming a bit hectic.
John has lists of things that need to be done before we leave. Stuff to buy, places to visit, people to see (and say goodbye to), find a house to live in in Ireland, get jobs -- the lists go on and on.
I’m given a list each day to complete and it’s not easy with two kids; albeit Colum is in day care some of the week. I’m hoping this week my routine will fall back into place and things will run smoother.
We’re selling a few bits (strollers and bikes) on Craigslist, and boy have we gotten some weirdoes replying. Mainly scam artists wanting our address and bank account details, but I’m on to them this time.
Unfortunately I wasn’t so clued in nine years ago before I left Ireland for New York.
Moving to another country prohibited me from bringing my vast array of clothing, and not knowing when I would return (and what dress size I would be then) I decided it was best to sell some of my good stuff, mainly apparel I hadn’t yet worn.
I took out a classified advert in a local newspaper. I had a few genuine inquiries which lead to the sale of some of my clothes.
But two particular phone calls (one which turned into meeting the person) were a little strange to say the least. One gentleman from Co. Galway (not sure why he was looking in a Kerry newspaper) called saying he was a cross dresser at the weekends and wanted to know if I had size 14 clothing that would fit a man’s body -- I didn’t.
The next man to call seemed genuine at the beginning. He told me he lived in Killorglin (a town about half an hour from Tralee where I am from). He said he sold clothing at a local market at weekends and asked could he come to see in person what clothes I had on offer.
We proceeded to arrange a meet the following morning. I had my clothes laid out in the living room, price tags attached to each item.
The man arrived in a white van. He introduced himself as John and spent about half an hour looking carefully at each item of clothing. He looked like he was really doing his homework. He carried a note book and every now and then would open a page and scribble something down.
When he was done he said, “You have some lovely bits of clothes here. I’ll definitely take a few but I want to go home and discuss with my wife first. I’ll call you tonight.”
“Wonderful,” I thought.
And as promised he called about 8 p.m. that evening. However the conversation didn’t go as I would have liked.
“I spoke with my wife and told her how pleased I was with your clothes, what great condition they were in,” announced John.
“Great,” I replied excited at the idea of getting them offloaded and having some extra cash for my future New York wardrobe.
And then came the uncomfortable bit… “Just one question -- we would prefer if you had other items of clothing for sale though,” he said.
Strange I thought. “What do you mean,” I asked innocently.
“Well do you have any used underwear that we could buy?”
Did I hear him right? “Excuse me,” I replied.
“You know, knickers or bras that you have used before and want to sell, I’ll give you a good price for them,” he said.
Disgusted and a little freaked out to say the least, I hung up immediately.
Hours earlier I had been alone with this man in my living room. What was I thinking?
There are certainly some strange people out there, and having gone through this experience in the past I’m highly aware of such perverts this time around. Although what sicko can possibly want a stroller or a bike?
It’s safe to say all the clothes I own this time around will be either shipped to Ireland in a container or given to the Salvation Army before we leave.
SADIE had her first playdate this past Monday. Her friends Ailbhe Doherty and Sarah Shields came to the house for a visit.
These little girls were all born the same week as our daughter. In fact Ailbhe was born an hour and a half after Sadie in a different hospital. (She was the same birth weight and length as our little girl.) Sarah was three days later.
Kerry native Orla Kelleher of the Aisling Center is the proud mother of Ailbhe, and her daddy is Eunan Doherty. Mary Brennan, also from Kerry, is Sarah’s mom and Charlie Shields is her dad.
Us three Kerry ladies have been friends for some time, and seven months ago we discovered within a few days of each other that we were all due babies on the same date. It was a fun six months guessing who would deliver first (I won that one girls) and if we would have boys or girls.
A few weeks before giving birth the three of us went to dinner. We were the talk of the restaurant. I’m sure people thought it was a pregnancy convention.
“Water all round for us,” we told the waiter while each pointing our ever expanding bellies.
And there we were on Monday sipping tea, sharing our birth experiences, comparing sleeping patterns, cooing over each other’s daughters and smiling from ear to ear at how blessed we are to have such precious little people in our lives.
I’ll miss all of these people when we leave. That’s the hardest part, leaving behind the friendships we have made in the past nine years.
Some people we will see back in Ireland within a year or two. Others, unfortunately, we won’t see for a long time due to immigration statuses. But we try not to dwell on the negative.
Moving home is exciting, and as the date draws closer that excitement is building from within our own home in New York and across the Atlantic as family and friends prepare for the invasion of the Mooneys.