Business-minded Carla Barlow is to get a shock in next week’s episodes when she discovers that she is pregnant. But why is she so horrified by the news? And how would Carla react were she to discover that husband Peter was not the doting partner he pretends to be? Actress Alison King has the latest details:
So, does Carla still have no idea that Peter is having an affair?
She has no clue whatsoever. Peter’s had enough affairs in the past to be able to cover his tracks well. Carla always seems to have had something on her mind to deter her from suspicion – before Christmas it was the wedding, after that she had to cope with Hayley’s death and now she’s discovered that her step-dad George has died. She’s now also worried that she might be pregnant, so Carla’s taken her eye off the ball recently where Peter is concerned.
So does she trust him completely?
Yes – if she was worried about anything it would be him falling off the wagon and drinking again. As far as Carla is concerned, they are completely in love. Peter is the love of Carla’s life, so I don’t think she could ever take herself to that place where she would start questioning his every move.
When does Carla first suspect that she’s pregnant?
It’s a few days after she returns from Paris and after she and Peter spent the night at a hotel together. When they get back she starts to become a little bit suspicious. She’s completely preoccupied with it and she tries to cover in front of Peter by keeping herself busy with factory work. She ends up confiding in Michelle, but Carla’s too afraid to find out if she’s pregnant for certain. She’s afraid of having to face up to it.
Can you tell us more about her feelings concerning pregnancy?
She can’t get her head around it and she’s afraid of taking a test in case it’s positive and she then has to decide what to do. She’s never believed herself to be maternal, nor has she ever imagined herself with children.
Carla’s struggled to bond with Simon and children have never really been on her radar. This is all a shock to her because she believes she doesn’t want a baby. And she’s torn over telling Peter because she thinks he will want her to keep it.
Why is she so against the idea? After all, Carla believes that she and Peter are really loved up…
Carla doubts her ability to be a mother, certainly because she hasn’t had an instinctive maternal bond with Simon. I think that has left her with her insecurities. I also think that it relates back to her own relationship with her mother. Perhaps she feels because her mother failed her, she will fail at being a mum too. She has a lot of hang-ups. Carla knows what she’s good at – she’s good at business and that’s as much as she can see. It’s nothing to do with her love for Peter.
Carla is usually so no-nonsense in her approach to life – so why is she putting off doing the test?
She doesn’t want to be pregnant, so if she doesn’t take the test, she doesn’t have to deal with the result and can keep telling herself that it would be negative anyway. She tells Michelle that just because she doesn’t want kids doesn’t mean it’d be an easy decision for her to make.
What advice does Michelle give her?
Michelle urges Carla to take a test and then they can go from there. She can’t understand why Carla is putting it off. She keeps telling her that the sooner she takes the test, the sooner she can face up to reality and make some decisions. She also thinks Carla is being unfair on Peter.
Has Peter noticed that she’s out of sorts?
No, I don’t think so. He’s just lost in his thoughts about Tina.
In the middle of all this, Carla discovers that her stepfather George has died – what’s her reaction to that news?
It’s a strange reaction that Carla has and a real mixture of emotions. It’s not as straightforward as being struck by grief.
His death brings a lot of bad childhood memories back for Carla. She says that they weren’t close and that she and Rob hated his guts. I think she’s in shock more than anything. She doesn’t know what she’s feeling about it – she’s numb and confused. Her emotions are all over the place.
Do you think this prevents her from taking a pregnancy test?
Yes, I think Carla almost uses this as an excuse not to. She keeps telling Michelle that she can only deal with one crisis at a time and that that has to be George’s death at the minute. It’s all a bit too much for her all at once. Peter has even less reason to suspect that something is up with Carla now though as he just assumes her mood and emotions are to do with her stepdad’s death. She’s burying her head in the sand and she knows it.
Does Carla also think that a baby would somehow spoil what she and Peter have?
Yes, that’s probably on her mind too. It’s always just been the two of them against the world. Peter has known from day one that Carla isn’t maternal. She’s very career driven and she probably worries that this would all change, too.
So how does she feel when it’s confirmed that she’s pregnant?
I don’t think she’s all that surprised, even though she says that she’d convinced herself that it would be negative. She was more dreading the reality of having to face up to it. But she is completely devastated that she’s now got to face up to this and decide what to do.
She doesn’t want to be in this situation. She’s scared of change and Carla’s happy with everything how it is. Children were never part of her plan.
Does she tell Peter straight away?
No. She needs to get her own head around it first and work out what she wants to do. When Peter comes home, Carla’s upset but she tells him it’s all to do with George’s death. He has no reason to query it and has enough on his mind with Tina to question or push it.
Do you think Carla would seriously consider a termination?
Yes, I think so. Being pregnant isn’t part of her plan, and that scares her more than anything. Her ability as a mother scares her too. She just doesn’t think she would be up for the job.
What could change her mind?
Peter has quite a hold over Carla and if he found out about it and wanted to keep the baby, I imagine he could talk her round.
We know Carla can be quite fierce – how would she react if she found out about Peter and Tina?
She would be absolutely devastated. She’d be crushed, but she’d want to get a hold of Tina, for sure. Carla thinks they are friends. It would be the ultimate betrayal.