My chance encounter with Offspring …

Parents-to-be Patrick and Nina

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.

You know.

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.

I know.

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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8 Comments

  1. Sue Brooks on July 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    I needed to read something positive right now. Thank you for being you, being honest and being intelligent. Sometimes I worry that there are too many unthinking and uncaring people in the world. I wish for nothing but good things for you and your family..

  2. mychampagnedaze on July 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    That is beautiful, Bec, and what a lovely way to share Georgie with everyone. Knowing how much you love Offspring, it’s perfect.

  3. Jo Bassett on July 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I read with tears in my eyes Bec. A close friend of mine was widowed suddenly last year and in many of our chats she has said to me through her tears of sorrow that in time of her loss, sorrow and sadness that she still had things that filled her life with happiness. Kindered spirits you two are. I always look forward to the next season of Offspring, now I have an etxra special reason.

  4. Mel on July 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Wow! Bec you are truly an inspiration. Georgie would be so very proud.

  5. Anna Franklin (@AnnaFranklinVP) on July 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Wow, that’s such a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your experience. All the very best and I so agree with you that fractured becomes your new reality but there is also space for big happiness as well. Beautifully put.

  6. EJ on August 23, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    I don’t know how you do it, but you are inspiring. I’m proud and blessed to know you.

  7. kerry on November 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    thank you Rebecca.Uncanny reading this. I have just found your blog as my dear friend’s daughter has just had a stiil born daughter. It is particularly close to me heart as I too had a still born daughter who would now be 26 years old and yes she is always with me. I am reliving those memories.I too have a happy ending with two boys.They were tricky to get but I am blessed. I also have met Debra and my husband is a proceedural GP ( anaesthetics and obstetrics) and Debra wanted to know so many things in such a caring genuine way. It is of course why Offspring is so good.

  8. lonequinn on November 17, 2012 at 1:29 am

    can i just say that i loved, loved, LOVED “the year nick mcgovan came to stay”? yes? well, lurrrrrrved it and i hope we can expect an awesome young/new adult book soon!

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About Bec

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.

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