As Louisa* recalls the period two years ago when she and her partner Kerri decided they wanted a baby, she says she was prepared for the opposition they might encounter being a same-sex couple.
But it was where that opposition came from that surprised her the most.
I knew there would be some people who weren’t going to be all that impressed, but the number of them and the age group really surprised me, particularly when a number of them were gay guys, Louisa says.
These were people who were fine with me being a gay woman but, once they found out I was pregnant, some wouldn’t even speak to me and others wanted to know why an IVF clinic would help us out and how dare we do this!
So when she heard about a new Foxtel TV show called From Here To Maternity, following the journey couples travel as they head towards having a baby, she was keen to take part.
Considering the negative reaction Louisa and Kerri had already encountered they assumed the TV network would not be interested. But once an approach was made, Foxtel quickly signed them up to the show, which screens Sundays on the W Channel. Their story begins on this weekend’s episode.
It was so nice to feel accepted and embraced by it, Louisa says while nursing her three-month old baby daughter Zara. All the girls we dealt with at Foxtel were so fantastic and really keen to tell our story.
I thought this is our way of proving to the people who said we had no right to be parents and how dare we bring a child into the world, that we are just as good as any other parent.
The cameras followed Louisa and Kerri from the 37th week of the pregnancy through to the day of Zara’s arrival at Randwick’s Royal Hospital for Women.
Arriving at the hospital on the day of the birth provided Louisa with some anxious moments when the midwife announced she was fully dilated and the baby was on its way.
I was worried the camera crew would not arrive in time and I did not want to let them down as they had been so great to us, she laughs.
When the cameras arrived I didn’t even notice them -“ I was too busy pushing by then. They said they wanted to capture the interaction with Kerri as she supported me through the whole delivery process.
Antonia Kidman, presenter of From Here To Maternity, says it is the interaction between the partners which provides some of the strongest moments of the entire series.
We are so glad we included the women, particularly in terms of the labour and Kerri’s reaction to it, Kidman says. She was so uncomfortable watching her partner in the pain of natural labour, and that is the way most partners feel, so Kerri gave a great insight into that.
The girls are just a couple really in love and happy together. Including them was a part of reflecting where our society is going and the reality of where we are. I thought it was part of the way of just normalising things.
From Here To Maternity screens Sundays at 7pm on the W Channel on Foxtel.
* Surnames have been withheld by the program’s producers for privacy reasons.