Episode 156

Australian Air Date: 22nd August 1988
UK Air Date: 18th September 1989
Writer: Craig Wilkins
Director: Paul Moloney

Pippa is in labour, but the family have just discovered that this will not be an easy birth.

CHRISTOPHER DANIEL FLETCHER (ASHLEIGH BELL-WEIR)
First episode. Tom and Pippa’s son. Seen from birth.
DR. BRUCE (NICK HOLLAND)
Second appearance, last seen in #84. Admitted a pregnant Pippa prior to Christopher’s birth.
NURSE (JANE PARKER)
Informed Dr.Bruce that Pippa’s heart was fibrilating.
ANAESTHETIST (PETER TALMACS)
Assisted Pippa’s pregnancy.

Extended Summary

Pippa goes into the room where Sally is sleeping and puts a large teddy bear in bed with her.Tom has got their bags packed and phoned the hospital.Pippa asks for a moment with the children, saying she’ll tell them the whole story when she gets home.She goes into the girls’ room, strokes Carly’s hair and kisses Bobby on the cheek, unaware she’s awake.While she’s in Steven’s room, Bobby comes onto the landing asks Tom what’s going on.He tells her the baby’s coming but Pippa only wants him there and doesn’t know that Bobby knows what might happen.As Tom and Pippa are leaving, Pippa has another contraction and Tom holds her until it’s passed.Bobby watches anxiously from the doorway.

Lance and Martin are walking drunkenly through the caravan park and falling over as Tom and Pippa come out of the house.The boys wonder where they’re going in the middle of the night.Martin realises what’s going on and Lance offers to boil up some water while Martin offers to drive them.Tom and Pippa turn down both offers but the commotion has disturbed the kids and Steven and Carly appear at the window, asking what’s going on.Pippa calls out that the baby’s coming and they cheer.

At the hospital, the sister takes Pippa’s blood pressure and Doctor Bruce tells them the heart specialist is on his way.All the early test results show that the baby is in good health.Pippa hopes that means she can have a natural birth but Bruce tells her there are no guarantees.

Lance and Martin bang on the door of the store flat, waking Frank, and tell him the baby’s coming.They head through into the store to collect supplies such as nappies and dummies(and cigars!).Frank accuses them of stealing from Ailsa but Lance has money so he tells them not to make a mess and leaves them to it. Narelle has also been woken up and Frank tells her what’s going on.Lance and Martin prepare to head off to the hospital with their supplies and Frank.When she hears Philip is taking the kids there, Narelle decides to go too.

Philip, Bobby, Carly, Steven and Sally arrive at the hospital.Sally has brought the large teddy bear with her, which is for the baby, and is convinced it will be a boy because that’s what Pippa wants.Philip checks with the staff and learns Pippa’s in the early stages.Bobby is eager to know if anything’s wrong and Steven wonders why she’s uptight.Philip assures her giving birth is a perfectly ordinary thing to happen.Steven and Sally start picking out baby names from a book Steven has brought.Bobby still looks worried.

Tom is giving Pippa a back massage to help with the pain.She tells him to remember it was her choice and the baby is worth it, even if she’s not around to help out.Suddenly, her heart rate increases and she passes out.Tom calls for help.In the waiting room, Sally is asleep and the others are getting an update from Bruce when the sister appears and tells him what’s going on with Pippa.Philip realises Pippa is on a heart monitor and asks Bobby if she knows anything.They are interrupted by the arrival of Frank, Lance, Martin and Narelle.Lance wanders off and bumps into the staff rushing Pippa into theatre.Tom snaps at him to get out of the way.Lance goes back to the others and tells them what’s going on.Frank and Carly demand to know the full story.

Pippa comes round as they’re about to go into theatre.Tom assures her he’ll be there and the sister hands him some surgical scrubs.In the waiting room, the mood is now much more subdued.Carly is annoyed that no-one told them what was going on but Steven doesn’t know what they would have done and Bobby says Pippa was trying to protect them.She and Frank end up snapping at each other.Philip says it won’t be much longer.In the theatre, Bruce is performing a caesarean.The anaesthetist is monitoring things and says the baby is fine.Bruce delivers the baby and Tom and Pippa are relieved to hear him crying.After the doctors have done their checks, the anaesthetist passes him to Tom and he and Pippa gaze at their new son.

Tom goes back to the others and tells them they’ve got a new baby brother.Everyone celebrates and Narelle kisses Philip.Tom and Frank wake Sally and tell her.She and the others want to see Pippa but Tom tells them she’s tired and wants them all to go home and get some rest, he’s going to take a photo for them instead.Lance offers him a cigar and Martin asks him what it’s like to be a dad.Bobby follows Tom and admits she told the other kids what was going on but Tom is too elated to be bothered.

Tom goes back to Pippa and Bruce tells him her heart rate’s back to normal and she’s doing fine.Tom hands the camera to the sister and she takes the first photo of the three of them.

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