Catch Up TV – One Born Every Minute

by Lynn Connolly

I’m absolutely hooked on this series, even though it does bring back the hideous spectre of childbirth. The best thing about it is, it’s someone else going through agony, not me.

But the second episode pushed my limits of viewer patience to the limit. As I missed it when it was on last Tuesday, I watched it on 4oD last night after EastEnders. I thought it might calm me down after that excitement, but in fact, I was more wound up after it than I was before it.

Why I hear you ask? Because of Sam and Ed, Joy and Fabio…

These were the two couples featured this week and – I’m sorry if any of you four read this – but oh emm gee, could any of you whinge more?! Actually, I should leave Ed out of that because he barely spoke at all, not even to moan.

I believe Ed is the living embodiment of the word ‘sloth’. He was slow, he was uber slow, in word and deed. But to be fair to him, he was clearly panicked by Sam’s drama queen antics.

Sam was ludicrous. I think that’s the only word for her. I know how frightening it is to have your first baby, but I suspect that Sam is more of a baby than any of the newborns. In early labour, she was screaming, crying, begging for her mum, swearing and generally making the hugest of fusses.

Was it necessary? I believe not.

I suspect Sam’s been spoiled all her life and is used to getting her own way. I also suspect that if she has a tantrum, she expects results. However, the stressed and overworked midwives who were on duty weren’t playing…

Nor was Sam’s mum who told her she was making a fool of herself and constantly berated her for her attitude. However, once Sam – finally and thank God – got the epidural she’d been screaming for, she became a human. Almost.

There were a tense few moments though when Sam’s baby’s heart rate slowed and a doctor calmly ordered a Category 1 caesarean section for Sam. Luckily, the baby was born well and all ended well.

So then there was Joy and Fabio. Joy’s baby was overdue, and being an older mum, Joy hadn’t yet experienced the dubious joy of childbirth and all it entailed. She’s also diabetic so her diet is of course important. However, at one point, she wanted a piece of chocolate cake, and Fabio, in truly smug and superior tones, explained that chocolate cake wasn’t healthy. I’d have knee’d him in the dooleys.

And then there was the pillow saga; Joy had been moved around the hospital and someone had told her she should take her pillows with her wherever she goes. So she did. Then a different person moaned at her for taking pillows off the ward, and Joy wasn’t about to get over that in a hurry.

But just when pillowgate looked like it might calm down, lunchgate happened…

Her lunch had been ordered while she was on another ward, so when it failed to materialise on the ward she’d been moved to, several people assured her it was in fact on it’s way down from the previous ward…

It didn’t arrive and by now, Joy was the antithesis of her name and Fabio looked as though he might raise his voice to an audible level. I know…

So Joy approached the ward receptionist to make enquiries about the missing lunch. The receptionist called the previous ward and was told the lunch was still on its way, but Joy was clearly fed up, causing the receptionist to immediately launch a defensive shot across Joy’s bows by saying, “Don’t start… I’ve done all I can.”

Now, of course I don’t know this lady – the receptionist – and I didn’t even catch her name, but she’s clearly one of those women who you wouldn’t want to mess with. She looks rather like her true vocation is to be perched on a lawn somewhere with a fishing rod, but she’s chosen a job where contact with people – who it would appear she really doesn’t like as a breed – is a frequent occurrence.

In fact, the only really pleasant person in this week’s episode was the ward Sister. I didn’t catch her name but she’s one of those ladies who is truly a lady. She exuded calm and authority while all the time keeping her genteel voice at a sing-song and soothing pitch.

If the entire NHS was staffed by people like her, it truly would be the envy of the world. In fact, I think she should run the country.

Anyway, next week, I presume we’ll catch up with Joy and see if that seemingly immovable infant decides to make an appearance.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.