201 & 202
Original -- 1984
Showcase -- 1995; Apr 5/6, 2000
Sandy Gore (Barbara Bolton)
Cathy Turner (Meredith Bolton)
Wendy Strehlow (Sister Judy Loveday)
Sara Hertz (Jane)
Bernadette Hayes (Nurse)

Special Effects: David Yardly
One of my favorite scenes is when Simon and Meredith Bolton were discussing computer addiction. I thought it was funny that as obsessed as computer geeks got 16 years ago, things are much worse nowadays -- and people DO get companionship out of their computers. LOL

The birthing scenes were incredibly well done -- you'd swear you were at real birth with real complications.

Plotlines, characters, dialogue quotes, hospital name, house image, show photos, & show-specific details JNP Productions. The wording and presentation of the information on this site and all of the ACP graphics 1998/1999 Kitty MacAlpine (unless otherwise noted).
"When the Bough Breaks"

Molly is bored with her forced inactivity. She tries to go outside to feed the animals or check on Bill and the plowing...until Brendan points out that she's still in her nightie. She is puzzled by that; she could have sworn she got dressed and Brendan mentions that her mental state is a result of the progesterone she is taking -- it makes her more placid (or stupid as Molly calls it). He's very concerned that she not try to do too much, since that could put the baby in jeopardy. It's only 8 weeks to go until the baby is due. Jewels picks that moment to come out of hibernation and drop out of the chimney. At the clinic, Terence complains to Shirley about Barbara Bolton, the radio personality who offers opinions on just about any topic. He's upset that she seems to be dispensing medical advice with absolutely no background in it. Molly listens to Barbara on the radio while cleaning out the cupboards under her sink. Vicky drops in to see if Molly needs anything done and Molly complains about not being able to do anything. She wasn't so cossetted when she was pregnant with Chloe but Vicy patiently explains that Molly didn't have any complications when she was pregnant the first time. Molly invites Vicky to stay for a coffee and continues to complain. Barbara Bolton brings her daughter Meredith in to see Simon. He mentions how much he enjoys the radio show. Meredith has been having headaches and Simon makes a joke (about watching too much t.v.) that falls flat. He asks what she does in her spare time and she mentions that she spends most of her free time with Jonathan, her Apple computer, on which she writes her own programs. Simon points out that too much time in front of a computer can cause headaches [hmmm....does that explain my everpresent head pain?] and perhaps she should cut down. Barbara points out that the father of her child was never a part of their lives (other than his obvious participation in the conception), that she felt she could raise the child best on her own. She is rather snooty in demeanor and highly opinionated about many things. After they leave his office, Simon phones Vicky and begs her to tell him she needs him, that he's feeling superfluous.

At the hospital, Brendan talks to Molly on the phone. He's come up with THE perfect name for his coming son -- Tarquin. Molly isn't open to that particular choice and Judy pipes in with Alfred (after a certain councillor) or William (it was good enough for Charles and Di). After he hangs up, Judy says she understands Molly's frustration. Brendan is worried, though, because of the placenta previa. Molly's due to have her second scan next week and he might be able to breathe easier after that. Vicky stops in to pick up some x-rays for a pekingese. Vicky tried to tell the dog's owner, Mrs. Chisholm, that Jasper only had kennel cough but she insisted it was something worse. Vicky was right. Judy remarks that Brendan is treating Molly like a pampered pet and wait until Vicky is pregnant herself (after all, Simon is a full blown doctor and sure to be more frantic). Frank stops by to see Molly and bring her some roses from his garden. She says that she's feeling awful today, that it's just an absolutely off day for her. Chloe is getting into things and Frank offers to take Chloe tomorrow to give Molly a little breathing room. Simon talks to Terence and Shirley about Barbara Bolton. Terence is still upset that Barbara dispenses her own opinions as fact. As they leave the office, Simon discusses personal computers with Terence. At the Bolton home, Barbara talks to her daughter about her day at work. She talks to Meredith more as a peer, not as a daughter. She thinks Simon was patronizing but that perhaps he was right and Meredith should ask a "stimulating and intellectually equal" friend over to visit. She rebukes Meredith when the young girl calls her "Mum".

Shirley is rooting through cupboards. Frank thinks she's finally decided to clean them out but she's just child-proofing things. She and Frank discuss the finer points of childrearing and he remarks that it's good practice for when they finally become grandparents (Shirley is not ready to contemplate that). Barbara reads out a response to a listener's letter to her to Meredith. Meredith is ready for bed; she asks her mother to come in and close her curtains for her but Barbara refuses, saying she should hope Meredith is not afraid of the dark of all things. Brendan is forced to go into work when Nurse Hammond gets sick. He'd been doing well with the painting and didn't like having to quit. He asks Molly to rinse off the paint brushes and promises to bring home fish and chips for supper. After he leaves, Molly grabs the painting tools and trudges upstairs. Vicky arrives home with a surprise for the baby wombat. She complains to Simon about the Chisholms and how they argued about what they've been feeding. They discuss how terrible it is when people treat their pets like babies, while all the time Vicky cradles and scratches baby Charmaine. Simon wonders if they're in danger of ruining a couple of wombats but Vicky insists that it is totally different. Molly is on a step ladder painting in the new nursery when the phone rings. She tries to balance one foot on the table in order to put the paint roller down and falls onto the floor. She is in pain and covered in paint. The phone keeps ringing insistently. She manages to get downstairs despite the pain in her belly. Meredith and her friend fix up their hair and talk about boys (and Meredith's mother). She tries not to let on to her friend just how different her upbringing has been. They decide to type up a letter to Barbara on the typewriter; Meredith dictates while Jane types. Brendan finally gets through to Molly and berates her for not being there when he tried calling 10 minutes ago. She says she was out visiting Doris. When Terence arrives at the hospital, Brendan tells him the board better do something about the lack of staff at the hospital. Terence is there to see Mrs. Gates, a rather demanding patient. Back at the Jones farm, Molly takes the paint tray outside to clean up. Bob arrives and notices that something is a little wrong with her -- she insists she's fine, though. He offers to help with the painting while she gets cleaned up. Chloe is enjoying herself with Auntie Shirl and Uncle Frank, doing a little face painting. Simon and Vicky are amused by it when they arrive. They brought some cheese and wine to go with Frank's lasagne but Shirley forgot to tell Frank that they were coming over for lunch (and indeed forgot it themselves). Frank suggests they all go to the Club instead. Meredith is really getting into the problem she's describing for Jane to type up in the letter. Barbara arrives home, expecting to see Virginia there, not Jane. She reads the letter they were typing and remarks on the poor spelling. She sends Jane home and talks to Meredith about the things she and her friend had been up to. She isn't impressed by the obvious lack of intellectual stimulation in reading about becoming an air hostess or how to improve your bust. Meredith is frustrated by the lack of attention her mother shows for Meredith's opinions and desires.

Bob comes downstairs after having finished the painting and Molly is hit by a contraction at the bottom of the stairs. He wants to take her to the hospital but she says Brendan will be home soon. Bob stays with her until then. He tries to perk her up but he's obviously worried as well. Meredith asks her mother if Barbara has ever thought of having another child. She wants to know whey Barbara had her. Barbara talks about it in very clinical and adult terms. She calls Jane a silly little girl and Meredith leaps to her defence. Barbara says she's pleased that they're able to talk, to communicate (though really there is no dialogue between them -- all she does is state her opinion and expect Meredith to agree and comply). Meredith voices her frustrations the only way she can -- on her computer. Judy arrives at the hospital to relieve Brendan. They are discussing their shift turnover when Bob comes in with Molly. She's in pain and bleeding. Brendan calls Bev to find Terence and get him in. Shirley and Frank arrive at the Jones farm to return Chloe to her parents only to find the place empty. Shirl is worried and decides to call the hospital. Surprisingly, Bob answers the phone and tells her what has happened. Terence has decided to take Molly into surgery to have a caesarian -- it's the only choice, even though it is 8 weeks early. Terence and Brendan try to put a brave face on for Molly.

Bob paces the hospital corridor as Frank, Shirl, and Chloe arrive. None of them are worried; they think she's in hands. Judy rushes in and tells Shirl they need her to help with the emergency caesar -- now they're concerned. Brendan wants to help but would have been more of an hinderance. In the waiting room, Frank reads to Chloe and Bob brings some chips for her to eat. They wonder how the surgery is going. Vicky shows up and offers to take Chloe with her. Frank and Bob don't want to give her up but Vicky insists. Frank promises to ring the minute they know something. Barbara chastises Meredith about spending too much time on the computer. Meredith is tired of her mother always telling her to make her own decisions, rather than telling her what to do, when the result is going to be same anyway. Vicky plays with Chloe at Frank and Shirley's. The surgery is progressing. The baby is a bit blue and Simon rushes him away to work on him, with Brendan's help while Terence works to sew Molly up. The baby isn't breathing.

Frank and Bob continue to sit in the waiting area. Shirley rushes out of the theatre, surprised to see the two them still there...without Chloe. She brings them up to date on the troubles. There's a chance he might not make it. She tells them to go home. Bob asks Frank for a cigarette and Frank says he doesn't smoke; then he remembers that Bob doesn't either. Terence works on sewing Molly up while Simon continues to work on the poor baby. Brendan is extremely worried and frustrated since he isn't much use as a nurse. Esme turns up at the Gilroy house to help with Chloe. She doesn't think Vicky can handle looking after a child. Esme is disturbed to find that Chloe hasn't had her bath or her tea...and it's so late. She has brought a rattle for Chloe and talks to Vicky about how she and Molly have never gotten along. She says she would have liked a grandchild and Vicky tells her she would have made a first-rate grannie. She instructs Vicky in the finer points of preparing tea for a child and Vicky is somewhat amused. Once Molly is taken care of, Terence comes over to see how Simon is doing with the baby. They think his colour seems better and the baby finally gives a small plaintive cry. Brendan almost passes out and Simon asks him if he's going to say hello to his son. Bob is still in the waiting area when Terence comes out the theatre. He worries that he should have brought Molly in earlier or done something different. Terence assures him that the operation would have happened no matter what. Bob wonders nonchalantly if the fall she had had anything to do with it and Terence is surprised -- no one said anything about a fall to him. Terence can't say whether the fall or the placenta previa or something else entirely was responsible for the baby coming early. Bob decides to go have a stiff drink before going home. Brendan sits by Molly's bedside, waiting for her to wake up from the operation. She's groggy but he assures her that the baby is doing well all things considered. She asks for Chloe and Brendan promises to bring her in. Bob tells Cookie all about the events at the hospital as Esme comes in. She's wiped out from looking after Chloe (Vicky was out of her depth, according to Esme). Bob is chuffed when Cookie suggests that the Jones' might name the baby Bob but thinks Molly will pick something smarter than Bob. Simon collapses onto the couch at home and tells Vicky how touch-and-go it was. He says they nearly lost them both. He says that Terence doesn't know why she was bleeding so heavily, the placenta previa was marginal. Brendan wheels Molly into the nursery to see the baby, who is in an incubator. She desperately wants to hold him and urges him not to give up.

The next day, Simon is up nice and early. He wants to get in early to check up on the baby and Brendan. He wonders why someone like Barbara Bolton would choose to go it alone instead of opting for the support of a family. Meredith listens to her mother's show on the radio -- Barbara is talking about communication being so important and Meredith wonders how she'd know. Simon arrives to check up on Meredith. Barbara had called him when Meredith was sent home with a headache. She admits that she is fine, that she just wanted to stay home with her computer. She and Simon discuss the merits of computers versus human contact. He tells her that while computers are obviously here to stay, they were only ever meant to be tools to make life easier. Meredith pipes in with "...and more interesting!" and Simon disagrees. He thinks a computer isn't a good substitute for a companion [oy! he obviously never envisioned the future, did he!]. He thinks she should spend more time with her friends. He thinks that some people get too hooked on the technology, start treating their computers like people, and get hooked on their computers just like a drug [double oy! I resemble...I mean resent that remark!]. He thinks she should talk to her mother but she refuses. He takes his leave. Judy wheels Molly back into her room after visiting the baby. Molly talks to her about how odd it is to see the baby, how she doesn't feel quite the same as she did with Chloe. Bob and Cookie arrive to visit with an armful of flowers from them and Esme. She still hasn't thought of a name for the baby. Judy marches the two men out of the room, both of them chattering all the way out, and then takes the flowers to put them in water. Molly hears a sounds of a baby cooing and looks out in the hall to see a mother carrying her baby down the corridor. Terence talks to Brendan; he expects Molly to make a full recovery. Brendan wonders why the baby came so early. Terence says it could have been stress, worry, or even the fall. Brendan is shocked -- no one had mentioned a fall to him and he's upset.

Meredith works on her computer program. Her computer is acting up and she begins cursing it as she unplugs it. Simon listens to Barbara's radio program and hears the unmistakable sound of Meredith calling in. She finally brings up all her frustrations to her mother. Barbara tries to defend herself but Meredith won't give her a chance. She finally disconnects her to shut her up. Meredith calls her a witch. The baby is experiencing apnea (cessation of breathing) and Terence is called in. He tries to order Brendan out but he won't leave. They're going to have to intubate the baby again. Barbara arrives home to find the place empty. There is a sign on Jonathan that says "Out of Order". Barbara stops by to see Simon and he tells her about their visit earlier that day. She's worried about Meredith's absence. Simon talks to her about Meredith and the call Meredith made to the radio station. He recommends she talk to her daughter properly but she insists that they are like sisters or best friends. Simon is called into the hospital to help with the baby. The air ambulance has been called in as well. Brendan watches until Judy leads him out. Molly sees nurses rushing past her door and wonders what is happening. Footsteps coming toward her door herald the arrival of Terence. He says nothing but she begins to shake her head no.

Simon comforts Brendan in the Matron's office. Judy cancels the air ambulance. Brendan is crying. The poor baby had barely three days of life and never even got named. Frank brings Chloe into the clinic to find Shirley in tears. She tells him about the baby and he comforts her. Barbara returns home to see that Meredith has returned. She'd gone for a walk. Barbara chastises her daughter for phoning in and Meredith finally tells her all of things that have been bothering her all along. Barbara opens up more about why she's made some of the choices she made and why she is so determined not to become a doormat like her mother. Meredith tells Barbara that she wants to be treated more like a daughter, not a sister. Esme cries while she talks of the jacket she was knitting for the baby (red and blue). Bob is shocked, that such a loving couple should lose their baby when others who don't deserve them get them. Bob wonders if they should pack the baby's things away so that Molly doesn't see them when they get home but Esme doesn't think that is their place. She says Brendan will ask for help if he needs in. They feel so powerless to help. Brendan comes into Molly's room. They're both being stoic and strong. Brendan has to make the funeral arrangements and they need to give the baby a name. She decides on Christopher. They don't speak very much.

At the farm, Brendan feeds the animals as Terence drives up. Brendan isn't very communicative but Terence tries to draw him out. Brendan has forgotten that Terence knows what it feels like to lose a child. Terence tries to assure Brendan that they can never be sure what the contributing factors might have been but Brendan has trouble accepting that the fall wasn't the cause. Simon comforts Vicky as she cries for Molly's baby. She's not sure she ever wants children of her own and wonders how Brendan and Molly will be able to cope. The phone rings -- it's Barbara Bolton calling to thanks Simon and apologize to him for disregarding his earlier remarks. She starts trying to change her ways by telling Meredith to start calling her Mum. She apologizes to Meredith too and offers to close the curtains in the bedroom for her. Brendan stops by to see Molly again. He's been crying. Mrs. Chapman has been looking after Chloe during the day and Frank and Shirley take her during the night. He tells her that he's made the funeral arrangements for Wednesday afternoon. Molly wants to be let out to attend. Brendan starts crying again and tells her he can't believe how stupid she'd been to try her hand at painting when she'd been warned to take it easy. He blames her for the premature birth and subsequent death of the baby. She's surprised that he feels that way and he rushes out of the room.

Where to now?