The Ratings Stole My Baby !

Staff Writer

What the Doctor said“Your due date is January the 30th”.

What I heard“Your due date is in the double diary sample in Survey 1. Shit!”.

Here’s the next instalment on the journey towards becoming a Mum – while being a career woman and doing breakfast radio.

Warning: features a revealing description of the conception. Male readers may feel offended.

Sarah Levett is a successful standup comedian, writer, MC, co-host of the New FM Breakfast Show … and soon to be a Mum for the first time. Here, Sarah writes a series about the emotional and professional rollercoaster ride of dealing with the management, audience and peer perceptions of having a baby – while maintaining a successful media career.

Thank you to everyone who read and responded to my article, ”Does being up the duff send your career up the creek?” (read it here)

The story so far, aka The Re-set, in case you just tuned in…

Turn the clock hands back to August last year. I had a light bulb moment – a genius idea I thought. I will get my eggs frozen so I can wait a bit longer to start a family. Organisation is my middle name.

Well, after undergoing a range of tests it seemed my grand plan had backfired. Doctor Forthright had the results for me. “Your results show that … well, you need to get an Fing move on with having a baby!!” Apparently my biological clock wasn’t just ticking – it was also running over half a decade fast. (I’m only 34!)

I left his office sure of only one thing – with his forthright manner, Doctor Forthright was the obstetrician for me. I got home with a million things racing through my mind. One was … if I was able to conceive in January, the baby would arrive in October, in survey. I could then take a short maternity leave during the summer survey break. Yay for me.

Yep, conceive in January, that shouldn’t be too hard. A whole month. But fertility’s window of opportunity is a bit more narrow than that. Like, twenty minutes, or something. Did you ever notice that the only thing guys ever seem to want to do they can’t do when they’re under pressure to get it done right now?

“Plan” is not my partner’s middle name. And boy do you hear about it. Oh, the pressure! Oh, the whinging! Oh, you’ve taken the romance out of it! Well, the lack of romance never bothered you before, sunshine! Oh, dear, all that scary performance pressure and Mister Turtlehead seems to have gone back into his shell again. Or did you just somehow spontaneously join that Bondi Icebergs Freezing Cold Water Swimming Team or something? I didn’t think it could just suck back up and become an internal organ like that – is it attached to a Dyson?

My partner, a Manly Man standing just shy of 2 metres tall and known to all as “Moose”, had gone from Moose to Mouse. But eventually, after I gently and tactfully demonstrated my love and emotional support for him in his moment of flaccid performance crisis – “Oh, stop your whinging Mr Ken Doll, warm up your hands, find it, get it out, and man up for god’s sake!” – he was able to make his meager contribution to continuing the human race.

But, of course, the best laid plans of Mice and Men – and career women in the entertainment industry – all went out the window when nature had its own plan. Doctor Forthright called me and told me that I would be having the baby during the double diary sample in Survey 1, 2013. That’s not what he actually said – what he said was, “your due date is January 30th”. All I heard was “You're due after the summer survey break – in survey. Bugger”

It is, of course, a blessing it happened at all. And although it’s not important in the grand scheme of things, it sure is a wealth of content for both radio and standup. (And I am well aware that some people believe it can boost ratings. Apparently audience research proves that one on-air birth during a double diary sample has been scientifically proven to boost your 10+ share by 1.5%. Fact. …apparently).

But I do think the suggestion to record the birth may be pushing it? Pardon the pun.

Stay tuned for…”We are ALL having a baby – sharing the most intimate details of your life and pregnancy on the radio”

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