Until Little Bear was born & I was up at random times, I didn’t realize Boy Meets World was still aired on TV. I absolutely loved this show when I was growing up [and didn’t realize it was on until 2000, but I probably watched it the entire time].
Until this morning, I’d forgotten about one of the more serious episodes of the show.
Through Google and IMDb, I reminded myself this morning that in season six, Eric & Cory’s mom was pregnant. I missed the episode yesterday morning where the baby was born, but this morning the episode where the baby spends time in the NICU because of his size [he was 5lbs] and losing his sterile environment when Amy’s water broke early. He had an infection and they were going to put him on a ten day course of antibiotics.
When the Matthews’ doctor says she is turning the baby’s care over to a more qualified doctor, the first words out of Alan [the Dad]’s mouth are “Is our baby going to die?” I found the script online, and this is a transcript from the show.
Alan: Is our baby going to die?
Amy: (Indignantly) No. (Stands)
Dr. Markman: I don’t know. (Paces around bed)
Alan: You don’t know?
Dr. Markman: He has a respiratory infection because the early loss of amniotic fluid compromised his sterile environment.
Amy: So when can we take him home?
Dr. Markman: We’re going to administer a course of antibiotics over the next ten days.
Amy: And then we can take him home.
Dr. Markman: And then we’ll see where we are.
Several scenes later, this happens:
[SCENE – Hospital, NICU. Alan enters, there are many worried parents already there]
Alan: (Walks to one bed) Hey Karen, Paul. How’s she doing today?
Karen: She’s a little better today. She’s much better color, don’t you think?
Alan: Oh yeah, yeah, she looks great.
Paul: She looks great
Alan: (Pats Paul’s shoulder, then moves to another bed, where a father in ___ is reading a Torah book) Michael, how’s your son?
Michael: I think he smiled at me.
Alan: (Puts his hands on Michael’s shoulders) Hey, say one for my boy, will ya?
Michael: Oh, these are for all of us.
Alan: (Walks over to his son’s bed. Amy is in a nearby chair, sleeping. He puts the blanket over her shoulders, then circles the bed and looks at it) Come on, kid. Let’s get better and get out of here, I have a much better place for you at home. Come on, kid.
Obviously, the episode takes place over the course of several days, because this is the final scene between Amy & Alan.
[SCENE – Hospital, NICU. A sign reading “Boy Matthews/5 lbs. 0 oz.” with “Boy” crossed out and replaced with “Joshua” is zoomed in on on a bed. A hand comes from offscreen and pull the off the bed, which is empty. Alan is watching in deep contemplation through a window from the hallway]
Amy: (from off screen) Alan, what are you doing?
Alan: (Turns to Amy) I’m saying a prayer for everybody that has to be in there. (We hear a baby cry, and see that Amy is holding Joshua) Well… Joshua Gabriel… (To Amy) Well, let’s go home.
I started watching this show when I was 9 years old. By the time this episode aired, I was 15. I’m fairly certain I cried when I saw it for the first time [I’ve been a big softy my entire life], but there is no way I could have imagined that 12 years later a show I grew up with would stop me in my tracks and make me actually pay attention to it [because I initially put the TV on for background noise this morning].
The thing is . . . something like a NICU stay can’t be solved in 22 minutes [generally, a 30 minute sitcom has about 8 minutes of commercials]. Life isn’t like a television program.
We were lucky. Little Bear came home to us after only 20 days, after being born full term at 38 weeks. But every day, babies who are much sicker than he ever was are born. One thing we can all agree on is that our trips to the NICU will never been as short as 22 minutes. Like I’ve said in the past, the March of Dimes has always been something I’ve been proud to support. The money they raise goes to help babies who are born too soon & helps fund research for the problems that threaten babies.
It’s because of the research they do that Little Bear is a healthy baby today. Please consider donating to my March of Dimes walk. I know I’ll appreciate it & so will the babies who will benefit from the work the March of Dimes does.