As one of three children, Waterford native Rosie Nolan grew up dreaming of having her own family of three one day, as “three was the ideal number”. After immigrating to Australia aged 18, Rosie met her then partner Melissa and got the family she always wanted, and more.
Rosie and Melissa became parents for the first time seven years ago to Lily, their eldest daughter. Rosie explained how they got a bit of a shock at the scan for their second child.
“We went in, Melissa was feeling very unwell at the time and it was early on in the pregnancy. The young man was scanning her, and the blood quickly drained from his face. He left the room for a minute, came back with a more senior doctor and said you’ll never believe it, but we can see five babies here. “
This 1 in 60 million chance pregnancy, “using a donor sperm from America naturally occurred”. The quintuplets were born at 26 weeks and after 3 months in hospital, Noah, Charlie, Abbie, Evie and Eireann came home to join their older sister.
When talking about the logistics of looking after 6 young children, Rosie summarised life in their house as a “conveyor belt system, 100 miles an hour, all day every day.”
Although the relationship between Rosie and Melissa broke down, the recognising of same sex parents bill that was passed in Australia in 2009 allows Rosie access to the children and “equal rights as a father would have in a separated situation”.
While Rosie would love to return home to Ireland, this does not seem likely in the recent future after the birth of her son Will, with her new partner. When talking about returning home, it is something she would consider “down the track … My heart is always at home.”
When asked if she misses Ireland, Rosie said “absolutely. I miss everything ... All my family are back home. I’m a twin and I have a younger brother, as well as my parents there, and extended family. That definitely weighs heavy on my heart, being all the across the world. “
Listen to the full interview with Ryan here:
Rosie and her children feature on the documentary Making it Down Under, which airs Wednesday 7th September, RTE One. It’s the perfect way to witness the “conveyor belt” of raising 6 children in action!