WHEN Aisling O’Loughlin has her third C-section next month, she will bow to the system and say thank you.
“I love modern medicine,” says the 37-year-old Xposé presenter, who’s expecting a brother for sons Patrick, four, and Louis, two, on May 11.
“I like the idea that with Louis I tried to be a big girl and push him out, but I hated the waiting — we went up to 42 weeks with him. He was ready and set but no move. I was walking around like John Wayne. I was so relieved to have the C-section.”
She thanks God she didn’t even try for a natural birth with Patrick.
“It would have been a disaster. He was an extended breech; his bum was down and his toes stuck in his face.”
While other people might declare she has “a girl bump”, she has known for a while that it’s a boy.
“I don’t have the patience to wait. I was like: ‘Tell me so I can be ready.’ Of course, some part of me says: ‘I wonder what it would be like to have a girl,’ but it doesn’t preoccupy me.”
The TV3 star is just glad she and her photographer partner Nick McInnes are adding to their family.
Nick fought and beat cancer in 2014. Aisling says he’s a very lucky man.
“He came very close to dying. He’s doing really well. He goes for a check-up every now and again and so far, so good. He’s breathing the air with a lot more appreciation — we all are. We’re smelling the roses for this second chance at life.”
This third pregnancy has seen her busier, yet more relaxed. She’s not over-thinking things.
“You’re more indulgent [of yourself] in the first pregnancy, more curious. I’m not swotting up on everything, as I was with that first pregnancy, so I’m enjoying it more, but I have been busier; I’ve got two toddlers, who keep me moving, which is why I haven’t put on as much weight, though I’ve been munching through the pregnancy.”
Pregnancy rhinitis, something she experienced before, has hit her harder this time around.
“Oestrogen and progesterone swell the membranes in your nose. I’ve had a blocked nose for eight months, like all the time. It’s trivial, not the worst thing you could have, but still, it’s a pretty fundamental thing, trying to breathe.”
Becoming a mum is a massive deal. “You can’t pretend something really huge hasn’t happened in your life.”
So, how is she going to juggle being a mum-of-three with a day job that involves dashing from one event to the next, while covering all the latest fashion and celeb news for TV3’s Xposé?
“I’ll play it by ear. I love work. I don’t try to do everything and I know I need to use my time well. I try to be as efficient as possible, to buckle down at work and concentrate totally, no messing, just get it done in a certain time slot.
"I let people around me do their bit. I’m not leaning over their shoulder. I definitely think, when you become a mum, you’re better at planning ahead. Your brain is wired to be efficient and focused.”
A question about whether she’d ever give up her job to concentrate solely on motherhood gets a firm response.
“No, definitely not, no, no, no. My personality suits that I’m not with the children all the time. I’d go bonkers. I like a four hour pass-off system, where I concentrate on them for four hours, and then there’s Nick and we have an au pair.”
She admits she doesn’t like cooking.
“Some people love making dinners and creating a home. Nick’s probably like that, more than me. I just get feeling really downtrodden with it. The whole cycle of cleaning and cooking gets to me. I think: ‘Oh no, is this it?’
"I like when it’s [work, childcare] mixed up. I’m lucky to have a partner who doesn’t mind what I call grunt work.”
Of course, she gets days when she’s ready to tear her hair out. “Oh God, yeah! I factor it in that there will be meltdowns, days when the boys make a show of me in public.
That’s why it’s good to do the handover, so you don’t get too stressed. Factoring in that life isn’t smooth means you don’t feel a failure.”
She looks to TV and broadcasting for her role models: Miriam O’Callaghan with her eight children – “she can do it [work and raise a family]” – and TV3 news anchor Colette Fitzpatrick.
“She’s great. She doesn’t pretend she’s a mum living a flawless existence. She’s very cool, a strong lady, and a good pal. Just to watch her with the kids — she’s great with them — but she’s not pretending it’s perfect.”
Aisling has just become the face of Clonmel Healthcare’s Caldebaby product range. “For as long as I can remember, Caldesene has had a place of honour in our bathroom cabinet, with multiple uses from nappy rash to teenage spots!
"My mother, the most practical woman on earth, swears by the stuff and made sure to stock me up when I started a family of my own.”
Aisling’s mum, Alice, is based in Clare.
“She’s great. She doesn’t interfere. She knows I like to do things my way. She enjoys the boys; she had four girls.
"She does say: ‘You could use a bit more discipline,’ but when you’re a working mum, you tend to be a bit softer on the children.”