Coronation Street’s Dolly Rose Campbell explains why Gemma’s having such a hard time as a new mum
How has Gemma been feeling since she has been back at home and trying to cope with the quads?
It has all been really overwhelming and the situation with Freshco didn’t help as they felt like they had been taken advantage of and that it was a misrepresentation of their reality. She has got so much going on – it is like she is stuck in a revolving door. It’s non-stop and she is really struggling.
How did she feel when she found out about Aled?
He was also the one they were most concerned about. He is smaller than the others and he was the one that was born on the cable car. They had noticed that he didn’t react when Ed accidentally set the alarm off and he doesn’t wake up when the others cry. They thought he was the calm one. When they found out that he has permanent profound hearing loss in both ears they realised that he had never heard anything since birth and that makes Gemma feel like she has failed him and that she is not capable of providing for him and his extra special needs.
Does she feel guilty that she didn’t notice it earlier?
She doesn’t know how to communicate with him and she was treating him the same as the others. She feels guilty about that and also feels guilty thinking that it was something she did wrong during the pregnancy and how he was delivered because they were on the day out. She feels she should have been sensible and not gone on the day out. Obviously none of it is her fault but you can understand why she feels this way. It would be overwhelming if you had one child and you were getting this diagnosis but she has three other children and Joseph to care for too.
Is she scared?
She is scared about how they are going to cope and how it will change their lives and what the future will hold for him. She is scared about him being left behind. She is struggling generally but she knows deep down she has the capability of caring for the others but to care for Aled going forward is different and she is worried she won’t have the skills to care for a deaf child.
Gemma comes across as very brash and confident. Is that how she is really?
She is not massively confident – it is all a front and now she feels more vulnerable than ever. She does have people offering to help her but she hates asking; she doesn’t want to admit that she is struggling to get everything done and her mum is not around any more.
How is Chesney coping?
He is a tower of strength for her but there is only so much he can do. He does recognise that she is struggling so he suggests that she goes along the baby sensory session. Cathy and Emma go along with her as getting four babies out of the house is so difficult.
Does she enjoy the group?
Gemma finds it quite comforting to meet other mums who seem to be supportive of her and meet other mums who are going through similar struggles to her and that is just with one baby. She had felt very isolated as she doesn’t have friends who have babies.
What happens when she meets Imogen and Vanessa?
On the face of it they are not her usual type of people. They seem very posh and neat and tidy, and well put-together and they look like they are in control and are breezing through motherhood, so in some way they are what she aspires to be. To be accepted on the face of it by these yummy mummies makes her feel great and less alone.
But what she doesn’t know is that they are not what they seem…
No, she doesn’t know that they find her a figure of fun and are laughing at her not with her which is awful. They aren’t genuine at all, they like her because it gives them someone to look down on. She makes them feel better about themselves because they are grateful they are not like her and they are coping better than her.
Do you think Gemma is going to be able to cope moving forward?
Meeting these women isn’t helping her feelings of inadequacy. As time goes on, though, it is going to become clear that there is more to it than that and while Gemma has no idea that this may be a medical problem she does not know that. At the same time these women are going to make her feel a bit like she did with the Henry situation, as though she is not as good as other people.
Would she like her mum back?
That is exactly what she needs! Bernie knows her better than anyone and it is going to take someone close to her to recognise what she is going through and that this is more than just struggling with the babies, she does need real help to get through this.