'I had reached a point where I thought I wouldn’t have children'– RTE's Claire Byrne expecting baby number three
Television presenter Claire Byrne has announced that she is pregnant with her third child.
Ms Byrne, who married husband Gerry Scollan in a private ceremony in June of last year, spoke of her joy at the announcement.
"I feel really lucky that this is the way my life has worked out,” she said. “I look at my children [Patrick, 3 and Jane, 2] and am constantly surprised that I have them, because I had reached a point where I thought that I really wouldn’t have children in my life.
"If this baby had not come along I would still have been very happy, but we thought it would be lovely if we had number three,” Ms Byrne told Independent.ie.
The 41-year-old is due to give birth in the summertime, after the end of the current season of Claire Byrne Live, but is keeping ‘mum’ on her due date. She is also keen to keep the sex of the baby a surprise for everyone, including herself.
"We didn’t find out if it was a boy or a girl on the other two so probably won’t find out on this one. I enjoyed the surprise element of the birth. When you are in the midst of it all, just having a healthy baby is the most important thing."
So is three the magic number? Byrne says, "yes".
"I didn’t really want a big family but Gerry comes from a big family and wanted a big family - the number in his head was always four - but I’ll stick with three as good compromise,” she says. “Gerry is a great dad. He loves babies, loves children, and he can’t wait.”
Byrne suffered "brutal" morning sickness in the first three months of the pregnancy, but now it is "flying along". She said that between now and the birth, she will not be overloading her work schedule. "I am 41, I’ll take all the advice on not pushing it too hard. I’ll do my work but take my foot off the pedal with out-of-work engagements."
After the birth, Byrne said she and her husband plan on getting the supports right for their family before she goes back to work to "do what I’ve always done".
"Experience has taught me that in the early stages of motherhood it is easier for me to go back to work quickly. The problems start when the children are older and they need you more. Gerry is generally at home with the children when I’m at my busiest in work. It is always going to be difficult. I might be busy, but it’s busy with two anyway," she said.
Byrne dismissed recent reports criticising Irish women for leaving it later to have children.
"The decision to have children is such a personal decision. No one needs to be hearing from me when they should have children. I look at people who don’t have children - those who have made a conscious decision not to have them - and they are having a great life … it’s all very personal," she said.
With a "fairly obvious bump" already, Byrne said she has a big problem - she gave away all her maternity clothes after baby number two. However, apart from a few staples, she says she will be making no big investments" in new maternity wear.
Byrne said she has not broached the fact there is a sibling on the way with Patrick and Jane.
"I don’t want them to sit and wait for months and months to hear about a sibling that they can’t meet yet. Although my son did ask me the other day did I have a baby in my tummy, and I nearly fell over!"