Skip to content
Landing page show after 5 seconds.

Over the moon, but still we wait


Diary of a First-time Dad
Edwin McGreal

By the time you read this, it’s highly likely that my wife and I will have welcomed our new bundle of joy into the world.
But, as I write, we are still playing the waiting game, waiting for labour to start. It’s Sunday night in Mayo University Hospital and we’re told labour could be imminent. But there’s never any guarantees in this game.
We thought we might have movement last week. I got a call from a neighbour the previous Saturday to tell me we could have the bags packed for Monday night and ready to go sometime in the following 48 hours.
The reason was the full moon. Our clairvoyant is a sheep farmer, who told us how a full moon often impacts on his stock’s birthing cycle. My wife did not take too kindly to the comparison!
But, we had heard stories of full moons inducing labour in humans too, so we were at the ready. Especially when it was a ‘super’ full moon, the largest in 68 years.
Perhaps the fact that we were indoors got in Mother Nature’s way, but then try going al fresco in Achill in November and see how you get on.
Monday became Tuesday and Tuesday became Wednesday, and not a stir.
We’ve gathered that those days were particularly busy ones in the labour ward in Castlebar, so the pull of the moon may not have been a flight of fancy.
But our little baby appeared quite happy to wait it out another while, and we were quite happy to wait too. While it will be wonderful when the bundle of joy arrives, there’s something nice about enjoying the last few days, where it’s just the two of you as well.
We’ve eaten out more often than eaten at home these last three months. It might be a while before we have such freedom again!
Relaxing and watching television and some series on Netflix have been at the centre of some relaxing lazy nights too. Homeland, Narcos, Better Call Saul, Orange is the New Black, Prison Break and Black Mirror have all been consumed with haste. The TV might be jettisoned until well into 2017 once the baby arrives.
Certainly my first column has opened my eyes about what’s ahead. The majority of the feedback focused on my talking about impending 7am starts. ‘Good luck with that’ was the general tone of the comments. Further clarification of the ignorance of a first-time dad – my wife seems much more aware of what’s ahead.
Right now it’s a case of preparing to be as useful as possible in the labour ward, a place where a man must surely never feel more useless. Saying the right things is vital, and not doing what one man I know did: being down in McDonald’s when the baby arrives.
Tick tock. By the next column we’ll have news.

> In his new fortnightly column, first-time father Edwin McGreal will chart the biggest wake-up call of his life: parenthood.