Premature Stress

Their memory is not formed yet, they have no memory of pain

John Lithgow and Mary Beth Hurt in Baby Girl Scott (1987)

Neil (John Lithgow) and Wendy Scott (Mary Beth Hurt) are excited as Wendy is 6 months pregnant with their first child. But disaster strikes when one night Wendy suffers a 3rd trimester bleed and Doctor Kenderly (Ronny Cox) has to deliver their baby prematurely. Weighing less than a pound and a half Doctor Kenderly is less than hopeful when it comes to their baby girl's chances of survival but the baby is moved to a specialty unit which deals with premature babies. As they battle for their baby's survival and deal with he system they find themselves on an emotional rollercoaster.

I am not a parent and as such have not had anything to do with the emotional rollercoaster of child birth let alone one which is not straight forwards. And to be truthful, after watching "Baby Girl Scott" I am a little grateful as watching John Lithgow as Neil struggle with the emotional rollercoaster and feelings of helplessness after his daughter is born prematurely I don't think I could keep strong. As such it should go without saying that "Baby Girl Scott" is a very powerfully movie and in my opinion definitely not one any parents to be should watch as it could terrify them.

Now quite simply what you get in "Baby Girl Scott" is the rollercoaster of trauma and emotion which follows when you have a premature baby. To give you an example Neil is called to the speciality unit late one night to be informed by a doctor that their baby is struggling to breathe and will die if they don't insert a breathing tube yet at the same time might die if they do operate. We see how what he sees on her chart contradicts what the doctors say whilst Neil begins to question whether prolonging their baby's life is the right thing only to find out they have no say when it comes to their kid's life. Trust me it hits you from all angles as you get tossed into this drama and see how Neil and Wendy end up arguing as they try to cope especially when they discover they are powerless when it comes to whether they can allow their baby to die.

What is certain is that "Baby Girl Scott" really benefits of having actors of the calibre of John Lithgow and Mary Beth Hurt in it as they both bring the struggles of their characters to life. It is hard to put into words but John Lithgow in particular makes you understand the helplessness that his character feels as the doctors take charge, tell him contradictory things and leaving him feeling like he has no say, which in turn is making him angry.

What this all boils down to is that "Baby Girl Scott" is an incredibly powerful movie and one which manages to transfer the emotion and the sense of being drained on to the audience by doing such a great job of bring the stress of premature child birth to life. As such I will say that whilst it might open prospective parent's eyes to what may lay ahead it also has the potential to terrify.

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