She has been a journalist for almost 15 years, so a sense of urgency is something that comes naturally to Seven Sharp star Erin Conroy. But the same can’t be said for her adorable baby boy, who took his sweet time making his entry into the world.
“He certainly seemed pretty comfy in there,” smiles the 36-year-old as she cradles eight-week-old Guy in her arms at her Auckland home. She’s made it through those exhausting first few weeks of motherhood and is loving every second of her new life as a mum.
“I am still quite blown away by how naturally it all came,” she tells. “That instant love and feeling of extreme protectiveness is amazing.”
Erin and her lawyer fiancé Nick Molineaux have been together since 1998, when they met as students at the University of Otago. After getting engaged in 2016 – “I literally fell over when he proposed!” she laughs – they decided the time was finally right to start a family.
“My friends are all reminding me that I claimed I never wanted children,”
Erin grins. “Apparently, I was quite forthright about it! It’s true the timing hadn’t been right until now, but I was so happy when I got pregnant. We both were.”
Unfortunately, Motueka-born Erin’s pregnancy was “tough from whoa to go”, with five months of constant morning sickness, back pain and severe heartburn. “It’s fair to say I was not a very good pregnant person,” she jokes.
Naturally then, she was hoping that her little bundle would arrive in a punctual fashion on his due date of January 5. No such luck! “I naively assumed that I would get through Christmas and New Year, and that he would arrive bang on time. But the days kept going by and absolutely nothing was happening. It was awful!”
Increasingly uncomfortable with a long-standing back problem, the broadcaster – whose baby shower was hosted by Seven Sharp host Toni Street – tried everything she could to encourage her baby out, including acupuncture, drinking raspberry leaf tea, eating curry three times a day and devouring entire pineapples. Eventually, an induction was scheduled at North Shore Hospital.
“I thought I’d get to hospital and I’d meet my baby pretty soon, but it took three days!” she tells, still somewhat incredulous. With Nick and her mum Elizabeth, who had arrived from Nelson to be by her daughter’s side, Erin spent each day walking around the hospital surrounds to try to encourage things along, but it wasn’t until the third day that they had any action.
“Finally, my waters were broken and it was all on.
Nick and my mum arrived during visiting hours that morning to find me writhing around in agony. The speed and intensity of the pain really freaked me out. My midwife and I decided it was time for some pain relief.”
A hastily arranged epidural brought some much-needed respite and eight hours later, it was time to meet her baby.
“I had Mum and Nick at each shoulder, and I really went for it when it was time to push!” recalls Erin.
“At one point, the specialist was called in and he pointed out that he knew me from TV and that he’d also delivered Toni’s daughters! I had to laugh at the bizarreness of it all!”
At 6.50pm on January 19, two weeks after his due date, baby Guy made his entrance, weighing an impressive 4.3kg (nine pounds, four ounces) – and proving Erin’s prediction of a girl entirely wrong!
“I remember just feeling so relieved he was finally here. I looked down at this tiny baby and just couldn’t believe he was mine. We couldn’t stop smiling.”
Erin tells us Nick, 37, is an exceptional dad, who has taken to composing songs for his little boy on his guitar in the wee hours. Her mum’s support has been invaluable too. Sadly, Erin’s dad Earl passed away in 2014.
“Nick’s parents came up from Nelson too, so we had all grandparent hands on deck,” she explains. “Mum stayed for several weeks and was incredible. When Nick went back to work, she was up in the night with me for every feed, making me toast and then settling Guy for me. I was feeling guilty about it one day and she said, ‘There’s nothing more special than a baby falling asleep in your arms.’ She’s right. It’s pretty amazing.”
And laugh-a-minute Erin admits she’s changed since becoming a mum. “I am used to dealing with tragedies and awful situations almost every day in my job, but now I can’t even watch parts of the news without crying. I’m so much more emotional.”
While she’ll return to work eventually, Erin is enjoying life with little Guy and they’re even gearing up to travel to New York together next month for a friend’s wedding.
“I was a bit worried when I booked the flights that I was biting off more than I could chew, but now he’s a bit older and I feel like I know what I’m doing, I can’t wait. It’ll be our first big adventure together!”