Push (Part one of 3)
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Murphy : The Girl
Evelyn Murphy :Her Mother
Dr Malcolm Mac Cambridge : Maternity doctor
Sister Michael : Maternity ward Sister / Matron
Alison (Allie) Dowd : Student Nurse
Sargent Philip Hayes : officer of the Garda Síochána (Irish police)
“Nurse” : voice only
Stage layout. Desk positioned so that people on either side of the desk can been seen.
Lights down. Darkness.
Lizzie: (Cry of pain)
Malcolm: Push Lizzie, push. I can see the crown.
Lizzie: (gasp) (gasp) Aggghhh
Evelyn: That's right. Deep breaths.
Lizzie: Shut up Mum. Aggghhh
Lizzie: (gasp) (gasp) Aggghhh
Malcolm: That's it. We've got... Nurse, get Roberts.
Lizzie: What's wrong.
Malcolm: Just push Lizzie. Again.
Malcolm: That's it. Nurse!
Evelyn: Is it a boy or a girl
Malcolm: (barking orders) Is the cart ready?
Malcolm: Bugger. Where is Roberts?
Lizzie: What's wrong?
Lizzie: (louder) What's wrong? (louder) What's wrong with my baby?
Nurse : O.R. 3 is ready.
Malcolm: We can hook up the monitor there. Move out.
Lizzie: Where are you going? What's wrong? What's wrong with my baby?
Lizzie: (shouting) What's wrong? Where are you taking my baby?
Fast Lights UP
Lizzie and Evelyn are seated together on one
side of the desk. Lizzie has clearly been crying.
Malcolm is seated on the other side, with Sister
Michael standing to one side.
Malcolm: The technical term is a “warm stillbirth”. We think a kink in the
umbilical tube tightened during birth and cut off his oxygen supply.
Malcolm: Yes, his. He was a boy. Weren't you told earlier?
Lizzie: (quietly) Johnny.
Lizzie: Johnny. If it was a boy we were going to to call him Johnny.
Lizzie: Me and mum. We were going to name him after my Dad.
Evelyn: We lost him when she was little.
Malcolm: I see.
Evelyn: Was he alive at all after the birth?
Evelyn: Only I could have sworn I saw him move after he was born.
Sister: It is possible. There are postmortem muscle movements, it is possible after all that he could have died just after birth. However after such an extended period of oxygen deprivation even if he had survived there is a very high probability of extensive brain damage.
Malcolm: Unfortunately there is some paper work which has to be dealt with...
Lizzie: (Interrupting) When can I see him?
Lizzie: When can I see him?
Malcolm: Well after the attempts to save the child were called off, there would have been a transfer for a postmortem.
Lizzie: So he's in the morgue.
Sister: We don't actually have such a facility here.
Lizzie: So he's in another hospital?
Sister: Actually. We don't know where it is.
Evelyn: You've lost it?
Sister: The child was supposed to be transferred, however the body was never received at the other end.
Lizzie: You've lost him?
Sister: Yes. It is possible with something that small that it got mixed up with medical waste.
Lizzie: You've dumped my baby!
Malcolm: We understand that it's upsetting...
Lizzie: (Interrupting and building-up) How can you understand. You haven't had a child growing in you for nine months. You haven't felt his every kick and movement inside you. You haven't had part of you grow to be beside you. You haven't had part of you ripped outside of you and take away from you without explanation.
Lizzie: (crying) He was part of me. And you took him. And you didn't let me see him. I didn't get a chance to say hello to him let along goodbye. And you've taken that too. You've lost him. No. Dumped him. This is 1984 not the middle ages. You've taken him from me. You've stolen my chance to say goodbye.
(Lizzie starts sobbing)
Evelyn: Hush now. Come here.
Evelyn: (To the doctor) I'm going to get a solicitor. This is gross incompetence.
Malcolm: Yes. The details of our solicitor are included in the paperwork here.
Evelyn: Don't expect to see anything signed until it's been read through.
Sister: There are discharge forms..
Evelyn: Oh, no. My girl is going to get good postnatal care, And you are going to see to it aren't you.
Lizzie: Mum. I just wanna go home.
Evelyn: Listen to me girl...
Sister: Perhaps we should leave while you discuss this.
(silence while Sister Michael And Malcolm leave)
Lizzie: Mum, I don't want to stay here.
Evelyn: Nonsense. They've messed up already. I'm going to make sure they pay for this.
Lizzie: You've going to leave me with the people you want to sue for malpractice?
Evelyn: I see your point.
Lizzie: Did you really see him move?
Lizzie: The baby, you saw him?
Evelyn: A little. They surrounded the child so quickly. It's possible I imagined something.
Lizzie: But you saw him, like you saw me.
Evelyn: Actually when you were born I didn't see you.
Evelyn: It was a cesarean. They knocked you out back then. I didn't see you until the next morning.
Lizzie: So I could have been just some random child.
Evelyn: No dear. I just knew you were mine from the moment I saw you. I wanted to take you in my arms And never let go.
Lizzie: I don't want to stay here.
Evelyn: You hang on here a minute and I'll see which one of these gets you out. OK
Lizzie: OK? (starts sobbing)
sound effect : (knock)
(Enter nurse Alison (Allie) Dowd holding paper work)
Allie: Oh sorry, I didn't know there was anyone here.
Lizzie: It's OK. I was just thinking about my Johnny.
Allie: I know
(crossing to put paperwork on desk)
Allie: It's shocking isn't it. Found like that.
Allie: Didn't you hear? He was wrapped in newspaper in the lobby.
Allie: I know. Somehow who ever abandoned him missed the cameras. I mean that's a security risk right there. Anyone could walk out with god knows what.
Lizzie: When was this?
Allie: Last night. We think its was after half ten. I mean he was found at quarter to eleven. And the cleaners finished in there around half past, so it couldn't be any earlier.
Lizzie: And the cleaners would dump him.
Allie: Oh please, who would dump a beautiful little baby like that.
Lizzie: Someone did.
Allie: Yeah, I suppose.
Lizzie: Dumped. Is it possible to see him?
Lizzie: What does he look like?
Allie: He's a dote.
Allie: I suppose it would be alright. I mean ...
(looks at patient bracelet on Lizzie's wrist)
Allie: you're in the maternity right?
Allie: Just say you're seeing your own baby.
Lizzie: Yes. My baby.
Allie: Come on I'll show you.
End of scene one.
Update Part 2 was posted on August 17
Part 3 will was posted on September 15
Sorry about the formatting being a little messy, the blog isn't quite as useable as openoffice.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real people and events is coincidental.
Feel free to comment.
Tags fiction writing play stageplay childbirth stillbirth birth malpractice hospital postmortem1984