Laurel is to be on the receiving end of shock news next week when the discovers that she’s pregnant. But the prospect of having another baby at the same time as caring for an ailing Ashley leads to her making a heartrending decision.
“Getting pregnant was the last thing Laurel thought was going to happen,” says Charlotte Bellamy. “And she knows that it’s going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. She’s not going to be able to cope with a newborn abby and Ashley’s illness. So Laurel feels that she has to have a termination, even though it’s against everything she stands for. Ashley certainly doesn’t agree with abortion either, but Laurel has to make that decision.”
Viewers have already seen Laurel resolving to take care of Ashley as his early-onset dementia takes hold. And there’s no doubting that adding a baby into the equation would certainly put the recently reunited couple to the test.
“She would have to be a carer for a baby, her other children, Ashley and also Sandy. And there would also be the possibility that by the time the baby was born, Ashley might not even be alive,” adds the actress.
Events, though, look set to take an emotional twist when – later in the week – Laurel starts to bleed while taking a shower and begins to worry that she’s miscarrying. And, by this time, Laurel has actually done a volte face and decided that she now wants to keep her baby.
“Yes, by the time Laurel has the added concern of a miscarriage, she’s realised that she wants this baby. This might be her last opportunity to be a mum.”
Emmerdale fans will have to wait and see the outcome of Laurel’s pregnancy anguish, but Bellamy believes that should her character end up raising a newborn at the same time as seeing Ashley deteriorate, then old demons could end up resurfacing.
“I feel daunted for her. I don’t know how she’s going to cope. I wonder whether she’ll slip back into having a drink, which would be disastrous. Especially if Ashley is not safe to be left on his own. The situation is unravelling and it feels that a lot of it is out of her control.”
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