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Clips (6)

  1. Part one of five from this full length documentary.

  2. Part two of five from this full length documentary.

  3. Part three of five from this full length documentary.

  4. Part four of five from this full length documentary.

  5. Part five of five from this full length documentary.

  6. The credits for this documentary.


This is the second of three documentaries made about Shelly West (Michelle Belesarius) who was crippled as a child by rheumatoid arthritis and blind from age 19. Against all odds — and medical advice — Shelly is pregnant; but she is all determination as doctors work through how her “tiny, twisted, little frame” will cope with the demands of pregnancy. An audience of 600,000 watched this doco with its compelling scenes as the cameras kept rolling while Shelly nearly died during childbirth, and her newborn daughter was whisked away to intensive care.

Credits (16)

 Julienne Stretton
 Colleen Hodge
 John Cathcart

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Produced by

 Colleen Hodge Productions


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Related Titles (8)

 Miles and Shelly Go Flatting

Television, 1993 (Full Length)

The first doco about Shelly West

 Mum, Dad and Michela

Television, 2000 (Full Length)

What Shelly, Dion and Michela did next

 Birth with Dr. R.D. Laing

Television, 1977 (Full Length)

Award winning doco about childbirth

 Topless Women Talk about Their Lives

Film, 1997 (Trailer and Excerpts)

Feature film built around a real life pregnancy

 A Baby on the Way

Short Film, 1971 (Full Length)

A 1971 NFU doco looking at birth

 Miles Turns 21

Television, 1990 (Full Length)

Miles and Shelly’s earlier life in a care facility

 The Five of Us – The Life of the Lawson Quins

Television, 1998 (Full Length)

A doco on a famous NZ birth

 From Here to Maternity - Episode One

Television, 2001

Childbirth in New Zealand


My doctor almost shouted `don't -- just don't', when I asked if I could have children. He said it would be life-threatening for me. A year later I walked, or rather wheeled, into his office and told him I was pregnant. I think I aged him 10 years in one second.