This week’s episode of Offspring has drawn wide acclaim after its sensitive handling of a patient of Nina Proudman faced with a still birth.
It’s a topic that hasn’t been handled much in Australian TV drama.
On social media viewers praised the sensitive depiction with actors Asher Keddie and Caroline Brazier. The episode was written by Alice Bell and directed by Shannon Murphy.
On Kidspot Cassandra wrote about her experience when she was 28:
I praise Channel 10 for showing this on prime time television and I believe they gave it the respect it deserved. It wasn’t just a short scene that was sugar coated. It showed a mother who had done nothing wrong, who came in for a checkup because her baby wasn’t moving. It showed the truth that this can happen to anyone, and sometimes they will never know why.
It showed a bunch of midwives making the birthing experience for this mother as beautiful as they could, by bringing in her pillows from home and lighting candles. In one scene Nina offers the mother pain relief when it seems the mother is struggling, but she refuses as she wants to feel the whole birth of her baby, which is how it was for me as well. I never had an epidural and felt every contraction of my son’s birth, and it meant a lot to me to be present in that.
When the baby was born they showed limp legs, which I was shocked to see, but yet again, I praise the producers for showing these images. The mother got to hold her baby, and it was an incredibly sad moment, but at the same time incredibly beautiful. They even showed the mother the next day having to say goodbye to her baby and walking out of the hospital with empty arms.
I feel like not one part of my story was left out, and I am almost angry that I can’t force people to watch that episode because it was truthful to my story and sharing my story helps me heal. I hope this episode helps more people feel comfortable to talk about their own story, and for society to talk more openly about stillbirth.
“The stillborn baby storyline is probably the most challenging thing I have ever shot on the show,” Asher Keddie told TV Week.
“It was something that we didn’t want to shy away from, because it’s really important, and so many people experience it.
“We wanted to do it as delicately and as truthfully as possible. And I’m so pleased with the way it played out. It’s very, very, difficult stuff,” she said.