It's a girl! Sadie Elizabeth Mooney was born at 8:23 a.m. on a beautiful, sunny New York morning on Monday, February 20. She weighed in at seven pounds, nine ounces and was 20 inches long. We are truly blessed yet again. A fine and healthy little lass. She came out, via Cesarean, wiggling and screeching, a beautiful sound for her parents to hear.

Naturally we are over the moon and beyond excited for her little brother (15 months) Colum to meet her. Life continues to be wonderful to us.

I write this as Sadie sleeps peacefully by my side. My husband John is still calling family back in Ireland. We can’t stop smiling.

This time around everything went according to plan – well, nearly. I was admitted to St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers on Saturday night because I contracted stomach flu. They kept me in for observation.

It was nice to wake up Monday morning right where I was going to deliver my second child. I showered, put a little make-up on and even managed to straighten my hair -- one would think I was off to a ball and not an operating theater. But it felt good.

This was my second pregnancy so I was much more aware of what was going on with my body. I clearly remember while I was in the early stages of labor with Colum phoning the hospital with a question. I had the following conversation with a staff nurse in the labor and delivery room.

Me: “Hi, I’m in labor but is it okay for me to have a slice of pizza before I come in, or will it effect the epidural?”

Nurse: “Mam, if you are able to eat pizza don’t come in for a few hours.”

Me: “Oh but the pain is really bad.”

Nurse: “Believe me, the pain you think you are feeling now is nothing compared to what is to come.” (Oh thanks nurse).

Me: “Am okay, thanks.”

I hung on another two hours (had my pizza) and off we went to St. John’s Hospital.


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I hate to say it, but the nurse was right. I was only one centimeter dilated, and that pain I was having at home was a one out of 10 compared to what followed. In the end (after 30 hours of labor) I had to have an emergency Cesarean because Colum’s heart rate dropped rapidly.

So this time I was prepared. No silly phone calls to the nurse’s station with one out of 10 pains.

Monday’s section was lovely. Everything went according to plan. I suffered no pain (that will come later – I’m now high on morphine), was mentally present for the whole thing and didn’t talk rubbish to the doctors like last time.

Eight months before Colum was born I flew to Los Angeles with our Irish Voice photographer at the time, Nuala Purcell, to do an interview at the Playboy Mansion. Hugh Hefner’s personal assistant, Mary, was of Irish heritage.

So on the operating table during Colum’s section I overheard one doctor tell the other she was flying to California for a vacation. I’m lying flat on my back, extremely incoherent from all the drugs that were in my system for the previous 30 hours and I blurted out, “Oh, I was in LA at the Playboy Mansion a few months ago.”

I was unable to continue or explain why I was there. Although I couldn’t see the doctors’ faces because of a screen between us, there is no doubt in my mind they thought I was crazy.

They only had to give one look at the state of me to realize I’d never make a Playboy bunny, and why else would someone be at the Playboy Mansion? If only I could explain that I was a reporter. Ah well, I lost that one, but thankfully this past Monday while under the knife with Sadie I was much more alert and able to engage in normal conversation.

When the nurses brought Sadie to my room we were able to Skype my mother. It was fantastic that she could be a part of it all. She thinks, as do we, that our little girl is the image of Colum. She has dark hair and sallow skin like him too.

We are already referring to her as “him” and I’ve called her Colum twice (it’s the drugs).

I’ll be here at the hospital for a few days they tell me. Recovery from a Cesarean is longer than a natural birth. I’m excited to get her home this weekend and resume normal family life as a foursome.

Because we have no family in New York we rely heavily on our friends. Being honest, if it wasn’t for the help of our wonderful neighbor Geraldine Gleeson and my best friend Marion Moriarty, this birth would have been a lot more stressful.

They whisked Colum off our hands when we needed them to and are there for us this week to help, as are many of our other friends. Our friends are really our family in New York, and we will miss them so so much when we leave.

We are three months away from moving back to Ireland and the gang at home are super excited, now that there are two additional Mooneys coming with us. I’ll be slightly tied up with our son and daughter so John will be the chief organizer for the move.

It’s exciting and sad at the same time. I won’t go on about it and the hormones are kicking in as I write this, so I better get back to my reality.

Our little daughter is sleeping on my right and my husband, who has finished his calls to home, on my left is snoring in a chair. Maybe it’s time I caught some zzz’s too.

Mother and daughter, April Drew and Sadie Elizabeth Mooney on Monday morning when Sadie was three hours old.April Drew