Grey's Anatomy's Sarah Drew: 'April Is Expecting the Worst, But Hoping Beyond Hope that She's Wrong'

Grey's Anatomy Will April Baby Die

As it is wont to do from time to time, Grey’s Anatomy is mining a parent’s worst nightmare, as April and Jackson await word on how severe a case of osteogenesis imperfecta their unborn child is facing. Should Dr. Herman deliver a Type 2 diagnosis in tonight’s episode (ABC, 8/7c), it means their son has a typically fatal form of the brittle bone disease.

As April braces for the reveal, “She is expecting the worst, but definitely hoping that she’s wrong,” Sarah Drew tells TVLine. “[She and Jackson] haven’t decided what they would do if the baby is Type 2, so she is hoping beyond hope that she is wrong about what she feels like is coming.”

The distinct wrinkle coloring this storyline is April’s rigorous religious beliefs, which already have incited a battle of wills between Jackson (played by Jesse Williams) and her mother, and this week will be questioned by April herself as she braces for the news, be it bad or worse. “She has followed His calling, she has saved lives for a living, so she can’t imagine why a good God would [put someone through such an ordeal],” says the actress. “It’s one of those heartbreaking, very real moments that any person of faith goes through.”

April, of course, is not in this alone in this crisis, having husband Jackson at her side as they get a clearer picture of their future as first-time parents. “Jackson is 100-percent all about caring for his wife in the best possible way….. All he wants to do is love her and love his baby the best way he can,” Drew observes. “But if the news is bad, he doesn’t know what he would do. Nobody can, which is why [at one point] he goes to the chapel to pray to a God he doesn’t believe in.”

Interestingly, Drew herself was the source of this powerful storyline idea, having heard a real-life tale of osteogenesis imperfecta and shared it with Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes. Coming out of a Season 10 episode in which April engaged in a pro-life/pro-choice discussion, she saw an opportunity to illustrate the opposing beliefs in a profound way.

“My mom, who is pro-life, had offered this story of her friend that went through this [OI] situation, as an example of a not-so-black-and-white way of looking at this debate,” says the actress, who in December gave birth to her second child, Hannah, three weeks early. “So when I discovered my character was pregnant, I said [to Shonda], ‘Oh, you’re totally going to use that story, right…?’ And she said, ‘I wasnt planning on it, but that’s amazing. Yes, I will use that story.’ It was sort of an accidental pitch!”

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  1. JJM says:

    Sarah Drew had stated in another interview that 10 hours after finishing her labour scene on Grey’s, that she went into labour herself. Whatever that means for their baby, I’m not sure, but abortion is off the table for her and Jackson some point soon.

    • Nia says:

      Abortion is already off the table, they’re too far along. Termination would still mean April has to deliver the baby, in the same way mothers of late-term stillborn children deliver. What a crushing thing to have to experience.

  2. Mary Kate says:

    I am really liking this story line. As a religious person, it’s nice to see a Christian character on a network drama in a difficult situation.

    • Drew says:

      I would be cautious about that. TV shows will usually have a religious character standing firm, until they completely sell out their ideals and their faith because it’s the only thing that makes sense to the writers. It’ll be interesting to see if Grey’s can do this without selling out the characters, or miraculously making the problem go away on its own.

      • Jean says:

        But you don’t care that the writers sold out the Atheist by having him pray?

        • Michelle says:

          Finally someone else that gets it. I was talking to a Christian about this and their reply to me was that I “couldn’t possibly understand loving someone so much as to do that (Jackson’s praying for April) for them.” I was really?! I gave birth to two kids and almost died, didn’t once look up and go “hey Santa can you help a mom out here…” I bet if it’d been reversed and April gave up her religion people would have lost their heads over it.

  3. broncfanwa says:

    I certainly hope that this storyline works out in a manner that April and Jackson can reconcile to their beliefs and keep their marriage and their love as unscathed as possible. There’s very little chance there’ll be a “happy” ending, but i hope there’ll be a “happy as can be” ending for them. That said, still not an April fan, and can we move on to someone more interesting?

    • itsafysel says:

      I don’t think they would be able to reconcile their beliefs.personally,am a christian and I can’t imagine being with someone who believes there is no God(not that am against other peoples beliefs).everytime you pray the person looks at u weirdly even when you fast or read the Bible,its like the person is even mocking that’s too much to handle to me.
      But I don’t think in the long run their religion would be the reason for their break up cos that would be too easy and very predictable.

  4. Marie says:

    I love Grey’s and have been a follower for years. I am just really disappointed that – once again- TV writers opt to portray devout Christians as back-woods, climbed out from under a rock, uneducated hillbillies. Why do they have to have April’s mom come off so….indignant…so flip about the crisis facing her unborn grandchild?!?!? I too am a Christian and have strong faith & beliefs. But this doesn’t mean we go through life and hardships just saying “oh, it’s okay…God will provide…His will be done”. We hurt too and have the same intelligent thought processes, questions and feelings anyone has in these situations. So disappointed that the writers took this lazy same old ignorant view on Christianity. It seems to me that more and more TV shows are guilty of Christian bashing. I’d like to see how people would react if April and her mom were Muslims with the April’s mom being portrayed exactly as she is now- just in a Hijab.

    • Grey's Fan says:

      I’ve never viewed this as a Jackson vs. April story when it comes to beliefs. To me it has always been a story about April and being torn between the way she was raised (religion) vs. her education (science). In the last episode I believe April’s mother was brought on because to demonstrate April’s emotional state as she goes back and forth between religion and science.
      Am I the only one who is annoyed that Jackson treats April like a little china doll who needs protecting?
      Of course I’ve always wanted April and Alex together since Season 7 and I’m still holding them to the promise that someday these two will get together.

    • Drew says:

      I agree. Her mother was portrayed as inhuman, like she was just spouting cliche “Crazy Christian” lines, completely oblivious to the situation unfolding around her. There was a way for them to write her as optimistic and with faith, while making her sensible and logical.

  5. Alia says:

    Tuck was born in a middle of a bomb crisis and with his father brain injured after an accident, Sofía was born premature after a car accident, Bailey Sheperd was born in the middle of a big storm, now Baby!Avery has a deadly illness…

  6. JJ says:

    I totally thought GA was going to go with the story line of “only one can survive, April or the baby,” But the baby survives not April.

  7. Pam Stuart says:

    I lost my child right after giving birth. I have never gotten over his death and couldn’t have anymore children. Tonights episode brought back lots of memories and lots of tears. I still have my faith in GOD and one day i will understand why my son was taken from me way too soon.