I showed my mum a scan of my beautiful baby .. but I was too scared to tell Dad; EXCLUSIVE: SECRET FEARS OF TV PETER'S 17-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER.
WHEN 16-year-old Georgia Moffett discovered she was pregnant she knew she didn't have the courage to tell her Dad.
So the angel-faced daughter of At Home With The Braithwaites star Peter Davison, rang her stepmother Elizabeth Morton, and begged her to do it instead.
"Dads don't like to think of their daughters having sex," says Georgia, who is a beguiling child-like mix of both her Dad and her Mum, zany American actress Sandra Dickinson.
"Fathers and daughters have a special kind of bond and I knew Dad had always seen me as his little girl. I didn't want to be the person to crush that for him which is why I couldn't tell him to his face."
Georgia, who gave birth to baby Ty five weeks ago at London's Queen Charlotte Hospital, says her father - who was TV's fifth Dr Who - was at the wheel of his car when long-time love, actress and writer Elizabeth rang to break the news.
"It was a big shock for him," she says. "I think he even had to stop the car to take it all in. But you know Dad is so cool. He just rang me and said, 'Is this the right thing for you? Because the choices you make now are going to change your life forever'. I told him it WAS the right thing - and from that moment he supported me all the way.
"Mum was the same. I know it sounds cheesy when people say their Mum is more like a friend than a Mum, but that's really how it is with us. She's still the boss, but we are good friends and I knew she'd be OK with it.
"I hadn't told either of them until I was nearly three months gone. I'd done four pregnancy tests and I still didn't believe it. It wasn't until I had a scan and listened to Ty's heart beating that I began to.
"The pressure of keeping it a secret from Mum and Dad was really difficult, so one day I just took the picture of the scan I'd had the day before and ran upstairs to Mum's bedroom. I threw the picture at her and said, 'Please don't kill me for this Mummy'. She just looked at it and said, 'Hmmmm, interesting'.
"But within minutes she was on the phone to the doctor arranging appointments and hospital visits.
"She told me then I had to decide for myself what I was going to do. I said I wanted to have the baby and she just said: 'Fine - get on with it'."
If either Davison or Dickinson - whose 14-year marriage broke up acrimoniously in 1993 - felt that their beautiful young daughter was throwing her life away, they showed no signs of it. At least not to Georgia. "I know I'm so lucky with my Mum and Dad," she says. "I know how hard it must be for some girls to have to tell their parents they're pregnant. I always knew mine would be OK about it.
"But that's not to say everyone is. I can't believe that in 2002 there is still a stigma attached to being pregnant at my age. But there is. People still have a huge problem with it.
"All the time I was carrying Ty I was aware of people staring at me in the street and nudging each other. I couldn't always hear what they were saying, but I knew they were thinking 'That poor baby having to be brought up by that slip of a girl'.
"But I'm not going to let people's negativity spoil what is a beautiful time in my life. I'm proud of having Ty and I'm proud of the way we've coped with people's bad opinions of us. And this is the kind of stuff that makes people stronger."
As we talk, Georgia breaks off to breast-feed Ty. "This isn't as easy as it looks," says this stunningly pretty child-woman with the bright blue eyes and porcelain skin. "I'm still too embarrassed to do it in public," she says covering her breasts with one of Ty's blankets. "But I suppose I'm going to have to get used to it."
Georgia won't say who Ty's father is. Only that he's known as J.D. and she met him while studying for GCSEs at St Edward's School, Oxford. "He's 20 and was working in a restaurant for the summer while waiting to go to university. We went out for about six months, which is an awfully long time when you're a teenager," says Georgia.
"I was on the Pill when I got pregnant, but I'd taken some antibiotics and no one told me they can negate the effect of the Pill. So it wasn't like we were being irresponsible."
SO was she in love with J.D.? "I don't know what to tell you," she says. "We had very strong feelings for each other, but I don't think you'd call it love. We're too young."
Georgia and J.D. had split before they discovered she was pregnant. "We'd been on holiday to Cyprus last summer and both realised it wasn't going to work. J.D. was going to university and I'm not a great believer in long-distance relationships, so we thought it best to end it while we were still friends. Because by that stage that's all we were really.
"But I'd been feeling really odd during the holiday. I didn't want to smoke, I didn't want to drink and I didn't want to party - all of which were unusual for me. And I had cravings for anything that smelled like cleaning fluids or chlorine. I knew something was up, but it never occurred to me I might be pregnant."
In August Georgia went for the scan which confirmed what, for two months, she had refused to believe. "I suppose I WAS hoping against hope it wasn't true. But what scared me most was that during the summer I'd been doing lots of drinking and smoking. When I realised I was pregnant I was terrified that the baby might be damaged in some way or even dead.
"So when the pregnancy was confirmed and everything was OK, all I felt was an overwhelming sense of relief. And then I felt numb. It wasn't that I didn't want Ty. I've never for one moment thought of him as a 'mistake'. But he wasn't part of the 'plan' and I didn't quite know how to handle it.
"Up until then I'd been planning my life just a couple of years in advance. I knew I wasn't going to stay on at school to do A-Levels and that I was going to go to college to study literature and the performing arts.
"I also knew I wanted to be an actress at some point, but I honestly hadn't thought beyond that."
So did she ever consider a termination? "Not for a minute," she says. "I remember a few years ago on holiday in Majorca with some friends. We were talking about what we'd do if we got pregnant. I was the only one who said I'd keep the baby. All my friends said I was mad. But it's what I thought then and it's what I thought when I discovered I was pregnant. for real."
For some girls, pregnancy at 16 would spell not just panic but the end of ambition and all career prospects. But Georgia Moffett is made of sterner stuff. Not for a second has she felt that having Ty has robbed her of her youth or her dreams.
"All he's robbed me of is my figure," she laughs. "But that's it. I'll admit that initially there was a bit of terror. But I'm not a panicky person. I tend to go into my shell and just think."
It's hard to know where the serenity of this flaxen-haired child/ woman comes from. But what is remarkable is her total lack of fear at the responsibilities that lie ahead.
"I've never felt I was throwing my life or my career away by having a child. For goodness sake it's a baby - not a life sentence. People kept saying to me, 'Oh dear you could have been a good actress', like I still can't be an actress. They talked to me like someone had died.
"Ty isn't going to stop me doing what I want to do because, even though this might sound silly, I actually want him to be proud of me. Yes, I left college four weeks after I discovered I was pregnant because I didn't fancy the idea of everyone seeing me with a big bump. And believe me - mine was a huge bump.
"But I do want to go back to college at some point and I do want to be an actress. But I've got time for all that. I'm only 17. And whatever anyone says, I don't miss parties, I don't miss clubbing with my friends. I did an awful lot of that in the two years before I had Ty."
Ty was born on March 27 after a 40-hour labour. "It was all pretty gory," says Georgia, who insisted that J.D., her mum and dad wait outside the delivery room until after the birth .
I JUST didn't want them there while all the pushing was going on," she says. "It had been pretty traumatic because of my long labour so I just wanted to be alone with the midwife."
J.D. was the first to see Ty - who came into the world weighing a healthy 8lb 3oz - and then her Mum and Dad. "In fact it was Mum who came up with the name Ty. She and I used to go swimming every day and we'd charge up and down the pool thinking of names."
Georgia and Ty live with Sandra in a beautiful big house by the river in Chiswick, West London, with a dog called Dogger and a cat called Katie. Dad lives just a few miles away in Richmond with Elizabeth and the couple's two young sons Louis and Joel.
It's no secret the Davison/ Dickinson split was very public and very bitter, but it has never soured Georgia's relationship with either of them.
"Yes, I remember when they broke up," she says. "I was eight and yes, I was aware of the rows. But they never affected me. Of course Mum and Dad tried to protect me and keep it all from me but I wasn't a stupid kid. I knew what was going on."
"When they eventually decided to divorce, Dad just sat me down and told me they were going to live apart, but that none of what had happened was my fault. I just said, 'OK, fine' and got on with my life. I was secretly quite happy about it all because Dad was going to live in a flat in London and I'd never really been to London."
But it may be her parents' divorce that has left Georgia totally uninterested in marriage. "I don't particularly want to get married," she says. "Yes, it would be nice to meet someone. But at the moment it isn't even on my agenda. The truth is I like bringing Ty up by myself. I talk to him, I feed him, I read to him and I'm pretty proud of how we're coping.
"I don't get stressed and I don't get worried. If I feel a bit of angst coming on I just get up and leave the room for a couple of minutes.
"I'm feeding him every few hours at the moment which is tiring because I'm up a lot during the night, but mum often comes down to keep me company and make me tea." Georgia says even though she and J.D. are no longer involved he very much wants to be involved in Ty's life .
"He's at university up North," she says. "But he's been to see us twice and I think he's coming next weekend. Yes, he WAS shocked when he found out I was pregnant, but he wants to be part of Ty's life and that's good. He can't give us any financial support at the moment but I'm not worried - that will come."
There can be few 17-year-olds as confident and as self-assured as Georgia Moffett.
Yes, she has both financial and emotional support from parents who love her. But she has an inner strength beyond all that.
"I know people will disapprove of me.
"But having a baby isn't the end of anything for me. It's the beginning.
And I WILL do something with my life because even though I love being a mum, I know there's more to me than that."
Styling: VICTORIA HOGAN Clothes: MISS SIXTY, TOPSHOP, CATIMINI
AT HOME WITH...Peter and Sandra with baby Georgia, aged one, and (left) teenage Georgia; TY OF MOTHERHOOD Georgia says she's determined to raise baby Ty by herself; Picture by ANDY McCARTNEY
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|Publication:||Sunday Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||May 5, 2002|
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