Baby Zoe Ireland's family set for Irish Christmas as three-year-old brother joins family in Dublin
Published 06/12/2015 | 11:25
The American family of little Zoe Ireland, whose labour began on a transatlantic flight, will be spending Christmas in Dublin.
Jenny and Gavin Drake made their first public statement in nearly two months at the People of the Year Awards, honouring Marty Curley and Ade Stack and their work at Hugh's House.
The Drakes have been staying at the accommodation in Dublin established by the parents of little Hugh, who died as an infant after a long illness and spotted that many parents from outside the capital were struggling with appropriate accommodation.
And Jenny, whose three-year-old son Aidan has just flown from their native Kentucky to join them for the festive season, said she hopes to be back in the US early next year.
Jenny was 25 weeks pregnant when she started experiencing contractions on the plane.
Her daughter Zoe Ireland weighed just 825 grams when she was born in the Rotunda several hours later.
“I was a little worried about the time we left the ground, I started timing contractions once we got up in the air. And once we were about an hour into the flight, I knew we were in trouble," she told show host Aidan Power.
“She is growing like she’s supposed to, she’s almost four pounds.
“We’re hoping to have her home by her due date."
Mr Drake went on to praise Hugh's House, saying: "It’s been amazing. Not only do we have somewhere to stay in a foreign country, but they have meals prepared for us. It’s brought normalcy to a very abnormal situation."
Jenny said they had originally planned on giving their daughter Zoe Ireland another name, but all that changed after her surprise birth in Dublin.
"Yes we had to change it. We originally had planned Elizabeth. That no longer seems fitting. She had to now be Ireland."