The life-changing words that brought us home to Ireland from London

‘I have big news for you, there are three in there’

Erica Kelly and her partner are expecting triplets.

Erica Kelly and her partner are expecting triplets.

 

She held my hand very tightly before gently revealing, “I have big news for you, there are three in there.”

We were already rather apprehensive going into the 12-week scan of our first pregnancy, but this was news I hadn’t even had the imagination to fathom. The shock very slowly subsided, and was replaced firstly by relief upon hearing three heartbeats, and then by joy at the thought of our very own trio, our ready-made family in nine short months.

My husband and I have lived in London for the last seven years. We are both Irish, I’m from Kildare and John hails from Cork. That evening we WhatsApped, FaceTimed and Skyped our extended family and friends with our massive news. John is a huge joker, a bluffer of the highest order, and it was genuinely difficult to convince some that we weren’t pulling their legs.

The excitement and craziness of delivering such news buoyed me through the next few days, but eventually the worry became all consuming. How early will the triplets arrive? How long will they stay in intensive care? What kind of buggy do you get for triplets? How many nappies a week do you require? But most importantly of all, where are we going to live?

It is hard to put into words the fondness which I have acquired for the city of London over the past seven years. I arrived here when I was 24, rather naïve and green but with a real passion to immerse myself in all things London. I still remember racing out of work in those first weeks to meander the street around Covent Garden, Soho, Marylebone and Shoreditch. It was all so damn cool, and I really did think I was cool too by extension of the fact that I had made it to London. It was such a novelty to attend events such as the Henley Regatta, Royal Ascot, the tennis at Wimbledon and gigs at Wembley Stadium, even just sitting in the park on a Thursday evening with a picnic and some Pimms was a jolly fine affair.

Seven years later, jogging around Clapham Common on a Saturday morning, I still love the London buzz where everyone is out and about cramming the most into their precious weekends.

London can get to you at times too, and the London commute will harden the softest of us. I am now the person who wedges between two others at rush hour oblivious to the comfort (or lack thereof) of those around me…. Move along folks, places to go, people to see!

I am by no means tired of London but our circumstances have changed drastically and quickly. The more we mulled over the big news, the more it seemed like a no-brainer: it was time to make the big move home.

This Christmas, I booked a one-way flight to Dublin. It wasn’t until the festivities were over and normal life had resumed that I realised that this was a permanent thing.

At the moment, I am taking it really easy and being regularly monitored in the Coombe, but I am extremely excited to be back, and am feeling very positive about living here again. It is great to be surrounded by family and friends at such an important time in our lives.

Once I am mobile again, I can’t wait to approach Ireland with the same vigour that the 24-year-old me did London, with the three new members of our family to experience the “newness that was in every stale thing when we looked at it as children”, as Patrick Kavanagh aptly put it.

Without sounding like an advert for Discover Ireland, I dream of picnics on Curracloe beach when the sun shines, trips to the Curragh or Punchestown on Sundays, hikes in Glendalough followed by brown soda bread sandwiches, scones filled with fresh cream and jam, and visits to their cousins in Cork for days out to Fota Wildlife.

It is big news, hearing that there are three in there; soon there will be three out here. I sincerely hope they enjoy growing up in Ireland as much as I did, and that they find a solid grounding here which gives them confidence to explore and adventure but that they maintain a strong sense of home and what that means to them.

Erica Kelly blogs at 3babiesandasleeplesslady.wordpress.com and is on Instagram @3babiesandasleeplesslady.

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