My chance encounter with Offspring …
Monday nights are usually pretty blah for me.
With the kids in bed, I’m often working. Half-watching Q&A. Making myself cups of tea. Forgetting to drink them. Making myself more cups of tea.
But last Monday night was rather extraordinary. I spent an hour talking on the phone to Debra Oswald who is the creator and head writer of Offspring.
No, seriously. I KNOW.
It was awesome. Even if the topic of our conversation was unbearably sad.
Deb and her writers are in the process of plotting out the storylines for season four of the show. A season that sees Nina and Patrick grappling with parenthood.
Offspring fans will know that such a pregnancy isn’t necessarily going to be all rainbows and ponies for Patrick whose first baby – a little boy named Gus – was stillborn.
And so it was that Debra Oswald (DEBRA OSWALD!!) wanted to talk to me to about Brad and my experiences losing Georgie. And then being pregnant with Fin. You see my husband Brad is an obstetrician. And there’s a whole other layer of trauma involved with experiencing a stillbirth when delivering babies (or in Patrick’s case being the anaesthetist in an obstetrics unit) is your job. Every day.
Part of the reason why Offspring is just so, so good is that the writers (led by Debra) work hard to get their storylines right.
And so Debra and I talked. About how I lost Georgie. About getting pregnant with Fin. About the waves of anxiety that washed over both Brad and me throughout that pregnancy. The feelings of guilt (it felt strangely disloyal at times to be excited about a new baby). The attempts to be brave. The loss of control Brad felt. All of it.
I don’t know how much Deb will use of what I gave her. I’m not even sure if they’ve decided if Nina’s pregnancy will stick. On top of that, Patrick is not Brad. And we all handle trauma differently. But what I do know in my heart is that a little bit of Georgie’s life – somehow – is going to make it into that series. And that floods my heart simultaneously with joy and tears.
Two weeks after Georgie died, I had the strangest, strongest feeling that she was going to turn the light in my life UP. Not down. That she may be gone but that somehow she planned to stick close to her mama. Like a muse. Or a guardian angel. A lucky charm. While I don’t ‘feel’ her around me, I feel her in my life. No question. As though she has a torch and continually shines it down on new paths for me to take. New experiences for me to have. New people for me to meet. It’s like she has taken me by the hand and is leading me to my destiny.
And even though I would give anything, do anything, to have her back – here – for her to just be alive long enough to open her eyes and see me, and see how much I miss her and want her and love her … I’m happy. I am. I’m happy. My heart is fractured. Permanently. That’s just my new reality. But that girl of mine is in my life and I am doing things, experiencing things, I never thought possible.
Like having a tiny, little part in the making of Offspring. And helping to bring truth to the storylines next season.
And for that I am so grateful to my daughter, Georgia Grace. And to Debra Oswald for caring enough to get that pregnancy-after-stillbirth storyline just right.
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Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.