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Amy's agony Amy Huberman can't bring Brian O'Driscoll to pre-natal hospital scans


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Amy Huberman

Amy Huberman

Amy Huberman

Amy Huberman has opened up about how hard it's been not being able to visit her father Harold for the past three weeks.

Due to the Level 3 restrictions, the pregnant actor (41) has had to stand outside the window of his care facility in Rathmines and wave to him while he looks on, which has been "so hard" for her.

On paper, she appears to have the dream life as the nation's sweetheart who's married to a rugby hero and regularly provokes hilarity with her witty, insightful Instagram posts.

In the public eye for the best part of two decades, she remains one of the warmest, most genuine celebrity interviewees.

Yet the same day that the Level 5 restrictions were mooted by Nphet last Monday, she was hit with a sudden wave of "frustration" at how much life has changed during Covid.

"Comparatively speaking, we have it so easy; people have been so sick and so unwell," she said.

UNNATURAL

"I think the flip side of that is, it would be really unnatural if you didn't have days where the last seven months didn't feel really hard, or you didn't miss your family and friends.

"It's like this pervasive anxiety, and if you never felt that, that would also be really strange."

Her father Harold (82), a designer and artist, has Parkinson's Disease and up until September 18 when the new restrictions were brought in for Dublin, had been enjoying seeing him regularly.

"My dad is in a care home; he needs 24-hour nursing care and he is just really fed-up," she explained.

"Even though he is in there, we would have taken him out for coffee and breakfasts and he loves getting away and he's quite impulsive with making plans and likes to have plans.

"He was never one for doing nothing and he's finding it really, really hard.

"So we're talking to him, but with Parkinson's, you lose some of the volume in your voice and I'm not going in to see him now and it's so hard.

"It's so sh*t and some days, it's so hard and for him and for them to keep his spirits up.

"Thankfully, he lives two roads away from me and that proximity is a comfort for me.

"I hope it is for him because I'll walk up and wave through the window but I know it's so small in comparison.

"It's so hard and on Monday, when everyone was waiting to hear what was going to happen, I just got so frustrated.

"We have to have those days of processing it. I know I'm in a lucky position in so many ways and I try to stay positive, even for my own sanity.

"If I go down the well of how crap it is, I'm just in too bad form for my family, I just can't do it."

Amy's finding much comfort in pregnancy number three, a sibling to Sadie (7) and Billy (5), and pregnancy hormones and tiredness aside, she's feeling great so far.

Attending all her pre-natal appointments without hubbie Brian O'Driscoll due to the maternity restrictions has been "weird" and her heart goes out to first-time mums going through it all alone.

"It's a strange time and I won't be luxuriating in as much pregnancy stuff as I did before. It's more like, 'Get on with it'.

"It's my third time in Holles Street and it feels really different and there's no real hanging around and everyone's in and out. I feel lucky I feel well and the pregnancy has gone well.

"It's so much to bear for people going on that journey on their own; when they're really nervous and anxious and have to go through it on their own.

"It's a time when you feel so vulnerable but I feel I don't have anything to complain about because I'm popping in and out for the scans.

"Yes, I wish Brian could be there but there are people who have needed the emotional support or parents doing it for the first time.

"I think that's really, really difficult. It's that shared experience as well because I would say to Brian: 'Does it feel weird for you?' Going into hospital makes it real (for me), seeing the scans and everything.

"I'm just relaying information and again it's our third, so it's like: 'The baby's grand' but at the same time, it must be weird.

"I'd say he forgets half the time until I start complaining.

"It's been a really nice distraction because the days when it feels really heavy and horrible, and thinking of the state of the entire world, it is nice to go and just focus on that (pregnancy) and that's a really nice thing to look forward to," she added.

COMEDY

Now seems like the perfect time to screen the second season of Finding Joy, her popular series which had the highest-rating comedy debut of 2018 for RTÉ.

It sees her reprising her role as Joy who is trying to recreate herself as an entrepreneur and develop her brand.

"It was all filmed last November and post-production was completed just before lockdown hit.

"It all feels like a lifetime ago but it's the kind of humour that I love to escape to, that's transcending reality for 25 minutes.

"I can't wait to see it because we filmed it BC (Before Corona)."

As for the future, she's characteristically optimistic that this too shall pass.

"I think we will absolutely get through it and I try to find the craic and the humour in things.

"I think every so often, the weight of weeks of saying: 'It's OK' suddenly goes, 'Argh' and you hit the skids a little bit and then you going, 'Right, forward.'"

Finding Joy Series 2 airs tonight on RTÉ 1 at 9.55pm

Herald