Judy's World

Episode 2a - Planning Ahead

Judy: Oh Paul, these baby pyjamas are adorable. Thank-you. I’m so happy you changed your mind.

Paul: Yeah, I’m sorry Judy. I don’t know what came over me. I…I was just a little overwhelmed by the suddenness of it all. You know, this was a little unexpected.

Judy: Yeah, it was a big surprise for me too. But if we had tried to wait until we were ready, well, maybe we’d never really be ready. And I don’t want to be a mother at 40 or something. You know, the risks during pregnancy increase for both the mother and the baby as you get older. Anyway, I know my parents will help us out.

Paul: That might be okay, but I’d prefer to do it on my own. I don’t like to take handouts.

Judy: It wouldn’t be a handout Paul. Grandparents love to spoil their grandchildren. That’s what being a grandparent is all about.

Paul: Okay, but I don’t want them thinking they can tell us how to raise our child just because they buy a few toys or clothes.

Judy: Paul, they’re not going to tell us how to raise our kids! But I’m sure they’ll have some good advice. They’ve got a lot of experience with children – they raised Steve and I.

Paul: Uh, well, your brother Steve…I hope we do a better job of raising our baby than your parents did with him.

Judy: What are you implying?

Paul: Well, if you ask me, your brother’s a little strange.

Judy: What? I thought you liked Steve.

Paul: Oh yeah, sure, Steve and I are great buddies! Come on Judy, I’ve just been faking it. I have to pretend to get along with him to keep the peace in your family.

Judy: Faking it? Why would you do a thing like that? You sound pretty strange yourself, Paul. And my parents did the best job they could.

Paul: Well, maybe, but if you ever want some help, my mom was a great mom. In fact, I think we should get her to move in with us. She could help us with the baby. She’s getting pretty old and it’s tough for her now that my dad has passed away.

Judy: But you know your mother isn’t well. I don’t want to have to take care of your mom and a new baby. My God, when would I sleep? Your mom should be in a nursing home.

Paul: I don’t know, Judy. I’m reluctant to put my mom in a nursing home. She raised me, she took care of me. I’d like to do the same for her.

Judy: But Paul, think about it. Your mom’s health is deteriorating pretty quickly. She’s going to need professional care, 24 hours a day. It’s nice to want to take care of her but the truth is, it’s not that simple. Living with us isn’t what she needs. And her mind is going – sometimes I’m afraid she doesn’t even know who I am. If she were in a nursing home, she could get the proper attention, and she’d meet other people her age, with similar interests. She could make new friends instead of sitting around the house all day watching TV. But can we change the subject? Right now I want to think about our baby, not your mother.

Paul: Yeah, whatever. Hey, did you know you can do a test that’ll indicate if the baby is a boy or a girl.

Judy: Oh no. I don’t want to know if the baby is a boy or girl before it’s even born.

Paul: Why not? We could plan for it, like buy clothes and toys and stuff if we know ahead of time.

Judy: Sure, but what about the mystery, the miracle of life, Paul? Planning like that just seems so boring. It’s like opening your presents a week before Christmas.

Paul: Well, I want to get the room painted - blue if it’s a boy, pink if it’s a girl. A boy will need toy cars and trucks; a girl will want dolls and that sort of thing.

Judy: You’re kidding, right? Some boys like playing with dolls.

Paul: Not my kid. Believe me, I’m not going to have a son who plays with Barbie dolls.

Judy: I think we should let the baby decide what toys to play with. Anyway, I’m starving - I’m going to get supper ready.

Paul: Whoa, no you’re not. You’re a pregnant mother. You just sit down on the couch and relax. Let me do the cooking for once.

Judy: Oh Paul, I can do it; I’m only a couple of months pregnant…

Paul: I know you can Jude, but let me take care of you tonight. I still feel bad about last night.

Judy: Okay…so how about getting me a nice glass of red wine then?

Paul: Wine? You can’t drink. You’re pregnant. It’s dangerous.

Judy: One glass of wine won’t hurt.

Paul: No, seriously, no alcohol until the baby is born.

Judy: Paul, don’t tell me what to do with my body. I’m going to have a drink and you can’t stop me.

Paul: No, you’re not going to have a drink. It’s not just your body anymore, it’s the baby’s too.

Judy: What? Listen, Paul, I don’t care what you think. It’s my body. I will do exactly as I please with my body and there’s nothing you can do about it. What makes you think you can tell me what to do?

Paul: It’s my baby. Pregnant women shouldn’t drink alcohol, or smoke or do anything that’ll harm the baby.

Judy: Well, it’s not illegal, you know.

Paul: It should be.

Judy: What are you saying?

Paul: As far as I’m concerned, if pregnant women drink or smoke, they should be made to stop.

Judy: And how would you stop them?

Paul: I’d put them in a hospital, a hospital that they couldn’t leave, where there would be no access to alcohol or cigarettes, or any other drug, until the baby was born. That way doctors could monitor the pregnant mother and the unborn baby to make sure they were both healthy.

Judy: That’s not a hospital. If they can’t leave, it’s a prison. You’d seriously put a pregnant woman in prison?

Paul: Why not? If it’s a significant risk for the baby, why not? The alternative is to let women drink and smoke and risk having babies who are premature or have some kind of disability.

Judy: But Paul, I’ve read about all that. The baby is most vulnerable at the beginning of the pregnancy, often before the pregnancy has even been detected. So it won’t help.

Paul: That’s when the baby is the most vulnerable. But it can still have an impact on their health later on in the pregnancy.

Judy: Paul! You can’t put women in jail just because they do stupid things like drink a lot or smoke. What about women who don’t get enough exercise or eat junk food? That’s not good for the baby either. Are you going to lock them up too?

Paul: Come on Judy. Don’t exaggerate. I’m just talking about mothers who use drugs; alcohol and cigarettes are drugs.

Judy: Oh, how come alcohol is suddenly some kind of dangerous drug? You seem to drink a fair bit of the stuff.

Paul: That’s different. I’m a man. I can handle it. And I can’t get pregnant.

Judy: You’re nuts. You’re totally, totally nuts. What about the woman’s rights? Having the freedom to choose what to do with your own body, including doing bad things to it, including having an abortion, or dyeing your hair pink or getting a huge tattoo on your butt is a fundamental human right!

Paul: Great. Human rights. Your right to drink and harm our unborn baby. What about the baby’s rights? Who’s going to protect the baby?

Judy: All I wanted was just one small glass of wine. But if you feel that strongly about it, forget it, I won’t have any. But if I can’t have anything to drink, then I think you should stop too.

Paul: Oh jeez, Judy. You know I need a few beers after a long day at work. You can’t ask me to quit just because you should quit.

Judy: Yeah, right, of course. Somehow I knew you wouldn’t like the idea!

End of Episode 2a