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21st Feb 2016

Comedian Sharon Mannion: When Things Don’t Go To Plan

Sharon Mannion

Our guest blogger this week is funny mum Sharon Mannion who is currently appearing as Concepta in ‘Bridget and Eamonn’ on RTE2. Her one-woman show ‘The Curse of the Accordion Button’ is at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, on February 23rd and 24th.

“After a routine GP check-up, I found myself admitted to hospital at just under thirty-seven weeks, with mild pre-eclampsia.

I had never been to hospital before. Frankly I found it exciting. I didn’t feel sick and yet in hospital, you’re treated as though you are. Staff talk softly to you, visitors bring chocolate and magazines and you unashamedly lie around in your pyjamas all day. It’s like being in a hotel, where the receptionists are all versions of your mother.


I wasn’t worried. I should have been, but I wasn’t. I still felt like this baby was a million miles away. It wasn’t until the evening of Day Two when a lovely little spectacled Doctor came around that things took a turn.

Let me paint the scene. There I am, sitting on my bed, post shower (those were the days when I would have one every day ha!), make up on, hair blow-dried with Husband eating muffins on a chair. I was ready to be told to go home, with instructions to take it easy.

Dr:  Sharon is it?

Me: Yes.

Dr:  Mumble mumble mumble…

Accompanying nurse: Mumble mumble pre-eclampsia mumble

Dr: Ok Sharon, let me see. Pre-eclampsia. Small baby. Thirty-seven weeks. Yeah we need to get that baby out. Tonight.




What now? Get the baby out? Tonight?? I think there’s some mistake. We have at least three weeks left, probably five. That’s over a month. We’ve loads of stuff to get in Ikea. There’s actually a cabinet at home with only one door on it because we read the catalogue wrong for God’s sake!

Of course I didn’t say any of that. Instead I did that very Irish thing of pretending I was absolutely fine with everything. My feathers weren’t ruffled at all, oh no. I’m pretty sure I literally said, ‘Grand’.

Husband cried. I scoffed at his lack of composure. Truth was I felt exactly the same. The full reality that I was having a baby came at me full force, like an over-excited dog with a lazy owner. You’re having a baby. Boom. Tonight. Boom. You’re not ready. Boom. Your life as you know it is over. Boom.








Husband furiously made a note of all the things we had to get sorted:

1. Find cover for both of our working commitments.

2. Cancel surprise baby shower on Sunday.

3. Update family.

Little Doctor departed and Accompanying Nurse attempted to clean up the emotional mess she had left behind.

‘Are you ok?’

Hmm. Not really. I don’t know what the hell is going on and I’ve just found out I’m missing my own surprise baby shower.


I was to be induced tonight.

Our rollercoaster ride just sped up by a couple of G-forces.

Failed induction, second failed induction, attempted waters break, successful waters break, oxytocin, epidural, dipping heart rate, possible C-section, dilating further, actual C-section, all the while thinking; “this isn’t supposed to be happening yet”.

Until baby arrives and everything changes.

And maybe they’re too small, maybe they’re too big, maybe they have to be rushed off to an incubator for a while, maybe you’re home in twenty-four hours, maybe it’s three days, a week, a month, but over time you begin to realise that far from things not going to “plan”, there never was one in the first place.

And therein lies the adventure.