Oh My Baby: Episode 14
Our main couple’s relationship continues to speed along. Overjoyed, they face their future with hope and optimism but life soon brings them back to earth with a thud. Our heroine is forced to deal with a father that she hasn’t seen in years and just when that’s resolved, medical setbacks turn our couple’s lives upside down. Our resilient heroine may just be facing the one challenge that she won’t be able to overcome.
EPISODE 14: “Grown-ups only cry for real”
After Yi-sang proposes, Ha-ri doesn’t answer and he nervously adds, “You don’t need to give me an answer right now.” Finding her voice, Ha-ri stammers that she’s just in shock but when she tells Yi-sang, “I’m sorry,” he thinks that she’s turned him down. Ha-ri is just sorry because she’s being so hesitant and she explains that she’s anxious because they could still break up in the future.
While Yi-sang remains on one knee, Ha-ri realizes that her worrying keeps her from fully enjoying life. Ha-ri finally tells Yi-sang, “Okay. Let’s get married,” and he can’t wait to slip her ring onto her finger. After Ha-ri places Yi-sang’s ring on his finger, they clasp hands and Yi-sang expresses his heartfelt wish, “Let’s try our best to be happy,” and she agrees, “Yes, let’s be happy.”
At Ha-ri’s house, Jae-young comes across a photo of him and Do-ah as he packs his things. Before he leaves, Jae-young pauses to look around the house that was a home for the two of them.
When Ha-ri returns to her desk, she gives Hyo-joo some advice on an article and then offers her a compliment, “Other than that, you did a great job.” Hyo-joo squeals when she sees the ring on Ha-ri’s finger and when Yeon-ho and So-yoon join her to congratulate Ha-ri, they let her know that they helped Yi-sang with his proposal.
Mom finally returns home and sees that Jae-young has already moved out. It’s late by the time Mom leaves for the hospital and it’s even later when Ha-ri comes home to an empty house.
The next day, Ha-ri calls her mother from outside of Dachae Media and offers to pay for a caregiver so that Mom can come home. Yi-sang walks by and overhears Ha-ri telling Mom, “I hate that you’re caring for him like this. Resent him instead and stay away from him.”
After seeing Yi-sang, Ha-ri turns and shares her concern that her mother will get sick before hanging up. When Yi-sang asks if Mom is still at the hospital, Ha-ri confirms that she is before running back to work.
That evening, Yi-sang brings Ha-ri’s mother some dinner and asks if he should meet Ha-ri’s father. Mom knows that would infuriate Ha-ri even more and she shares that Ha-ri hasn’t seen her father since her elementary school graduation. In a flashback to that day, Mom had asked Ha-ri if she would be fine without her dad and she had answered, “Sure.” Mom reports that from that point on, Ha-ri rarely mentioned her father, but Mom believes losing him is the reason her daughter wants a family of her own so desperately.
Yi-sang leaves the hospital just as Jae-young arrives and Jae-young uses the opportunity to ask, “…is there a chance for you to overcome your infertility?” When Yi-sang admits that he’s hoping for a miracle because there’s only a 1% chance, Jae-young tells him, “I truly wish that it’s not false hope.”
Jae-young finds the room where Ha-ri’s father is recovering and enters just after dad thanks Mom for her help. After reacquainting himself with Ha-ri’s father, Jae-young offers to stay all night so that Mom can go home and rest. When Mom asks about his living situation, Jae-young explains that he’s staying in a serviced apartment and that Do-ah is with her mother for a few days. After urging Ha-ri’s mother to think of her own health, she agrees to go home.
When Jae-young sits down, Ha-ri’s father asks about Ha-ri and learns that she waited for him the day of her elementary school graduation, hoping that he would bring her a bouquet of flowers. Jae-young then fondly lists Ha-ri’s many school accomplishments after that day and when he concludes, “Ha-ri grew up to be a kind, sweet person,” her dad asks about their relationship.
Jae-young explains, “We’re just friends who are like siblings,” and that they fell in love with other people. In a flashback to their college days, Jae-young found a drunk Ha-ri, who had just been dumped, and when she worried about finding a man who liked her, he confessed, “I like you.”
After Ha-ri rejected him, Jae-young demanded, “Why, am I not good enough?” Ha-ri explained that if things didn’t work out between them, it would be like losing another family member, a risk she wasn’t willing to take. In the present, Jae-young explains to Ha-ri’s father that if he’d confessed his feelings, they wouldn’t have been able to remain friends.
Yi-sang walks Ha-ri to her empty house and when she complains, “It feels like someone else’s home,” he offers to stay with her until she falls asleep. Realizing how that sounds, Yi-sang protests, “I’m not a jerk who would bother my girlfriend who’s tired and depressed,” surprised when Ha-ri responds, “You could be a little bit of a jerk.”
Inside, Ha-ri prepares ramyun, which is about all she can cook, and when Yi-sang tells himself, “I cook well,” she quips that she’s not that good at housework either. When they sit down to eat, Yi-sang confesses that he went to the hospital and saw her mother but he didn’t see her father.
After Ha-ri makes it clear that she doesn’t want Yi-sang to meet her father, he opens up about his own father. Yi-sang shares that his dad was a great father who worked hard for his family, but at the expense of a life of his own. After he passed away, all of his belongings fit into one box and two trash bags and Yi-sang resolved not to live like that.
When Yi-sang falls silent, Ha-ri speaks ups, “My mom didn’t tell me about my dad because she didn’t want me to hate him, but I heard her and my aunt talking about the day my mom went to see my dad.” In a flashback, we see Mom and Ha-ri’s dad standing outside of a house and when she asked for money, he insisted that he had nothing to give her. After Mom shouted that dad should at least pay for Ha-ri’s tuition, he told her, “Wait here,” and returned inside.
Ha-ri tells Yi-sang, “I remember that day when my mom was hurt more than the day my dad left us.” Ha-ri’s dad played Go-Stop all day long while her mother waited outside in the heat. The moon was shining when he emerged to shove some money at Mom with the explanation, “This is all I have.” After Mom reminded Ha-ri’s dad that she needed enough money for tuition, he exploded, “I ran away from home because I couldn’t breathe, but now you come here to ask me for money?”
In the end Mom took the money but on the bus ride home, she couldn’t keep from crying. In the present, Ha-ri explains to Yi-sang, “…that was enough money to last us three months without having to worry about food…She (Mom) became furious every time she thought of that day, and it motivated her to work hard and make money.”
After Ha-ri concludes, “that’s why I can’t forgive my dad,” they return to their meal. Yi-sang tells Ha-ri that her mother is convinced that her desire for a family is connected to the loss of her father. Yi-sang wants Ha-ri to focus on building a happy future together and to let go of the past, but when he recommends, “…you should meet him. You might not hate him so much if you meet him in person,” she asks to change the subject.
Yi-sang decides that it’s time to be a little bit of a jerk but as he leans across the table to kiss Ha-ri, his ramyun falls into his lap. Returning from the hospital, Mom sees that Ha-ri’s light is on and she walks in to find Yi-sang taking off his shirt. Ha-ri makes things worse when she explains that they were only having ramyun.
Once Yi-sang leaves, Ha-ri finds her mother and assures her that nothing happened but Mom argues, “If you weren’t going to do anything, why did you invite him over?” Ha-ri shares the news of her engagement and is disappointed by Mom’s matter-of-fact response, “That’s great.”
Upset, Ha-ri complains that Mom doesn’t have the energy to be excited because she’s been taking care of her dad. Ha-ri doesn’t look convinced when Mom explains, “Your dad is getting discharged tomorrow. You and I will never have to see him again.”
At Dachae Media, Hyo-joo hides as she stalks Eu-tteum but she runs to his side when he gets a paper cut. As Hyo-joo applies a bandage to his finger, Eu-tteum finally realizes how kindness can cause a misunderstanding.
Eu-tteum decides that he needs to be careful and Hyo-joo advises, “just be nice to me since I know you very well.” Hyo-joo sulks away after Eu-tteum agrees, “Because you know that I don’t like you? I guess you’ll never get the wrong idea.”
As the girls in the office are about to leave for the weekend, Ha-ri announces that Manager Kim needs someone to assist Eu-tteum at a store opening. Ha-ri is surprised when Hyo-joo’s arm shoots into the air and after she leaves, Yeon-ho mutters, “She couldn’t be more transparent.”
When Ha-ri’s father leaves the hospital, Mom hands him a cooler with bone soup and advises him to save up for a nursing home so that he doesn’t burden their daughter. As she leaves, Mom informs her ex-husband, “…this’ll be the last time we meet.”
As she nears the hospital, Ha-ri finds her father sitting outside. She takes him to a restaurant and during lunch she delivers a message, “Never show yourself again and stay away from my mom.” Dad explains that he could have died during surgery, which is why he was hoping to see Ha-ri, and that he only borrowed enough money to pay for his operation. After he promises that he won’t bother Ha-ri or her mother again, she asks, “Were you fine without us?” Her father admits, “I was lonely.”
Following their meal, father and daughter go their separate ways. As Ha-ri turns a corner, her father returns with a huge bouquet and explains, “I heard that you were upset about not receiving this.” When Ha-ri hesitates, dad puts the bouquet in Ha-ri’s hands and then walks out of her life once again.
Eu-tteum and Hyo-joo meet with a store manager to convince him to run an ad in The Baby. Eut-tteum proposes a short video to promote the top selling baby leggings as Hyo-joo energetically stretches a tiny pair. After Eu-tteum successfully sells the ad thanks to Hyo-joo’s help, she asks him to repay her by taking her to the beach.
Soon, Eu-tteum and Hyo-joo are sitting together at the beach and she asks if he plans to stay at the magazine or leave to pursue something else. Eu-tteum shares that he wanted to be a saxophonist but he wasn’t talented enough. After getting hired by Dachae Media, Eu-tteum was surprised to learn that he likes advertising and he’s flattered when Hyo-joo insists that he’ll be successful thanks to his intelligence and bright personality.
When Hyo-joo asks Eu-tteum, “What do you think about me,” he tells her, “I’d say that you’re one to bounce unexpectedly.” Hyo-joo bounces down to the water where a tide catches her by surprise, ruining her new shoes. Hyo-joo loses her balance while shaking the water from her shoes but Eu-tteum is close enough to steady her.
Later, while Hyo-joo cleans his sandy shoes, Eu-tteum guesses that she likes him and he carefully explains, “I want to be with someone I like too instead of someone who doesn’t like me back…” Stopping himself, Eu-tteum realizes that he probably shouldn’t apologize and a disappointed Hyo-joo advises, “Please don’t.”
At home, Ha-ri is overcome by pain and stumbles to her kitchen to take her medication. After dropping into a chair, Ha-ri recalls her doctor’s warning that her condition had worsened.
Yi-sang visits his doctor and the news isn’t good — Yi-sang’s sperm count is still below the minimum level, which means that his treatment didn’t work. When he returns to Jambi Studio, Yi-sang stares at the past issues of The Baby and when Soo-chul finds him, he confesses, “I don’t know what to do.” Wiping away a tear, Yi-sang admits, “I may not be able to become a dad,” and sadly realizes, “This must be how Ha-ri felt.”
Ha-ri’s mother greets Jae-young when he returns to pack the last of Do-ah’s toys. Upstairs, Ha-ri is still in pain and when Yi-sang calls, she struggles to reach her phone and knocks over the vase with the flowers that her father gave her.
Yi-sang can hear Ha-ri crying in pain while Jae-young investigates the crash that came from her room. While Yi-sang runs out of his apartment in alarm, Jae-young breaks the lock on Ha-ri’s door and after finding Ha-ri on the floor, he takes her to the hospital with Mom’s help.
At the hospital, Ha-ri sleeps while Jae-young sits by her side. Mom is in the hallway when Yi-sang arrives and she reports that Ha-ri is resting comfortably after being given stronger pain medication.
When Jae-young exits Ha-ri’s room, Mom thanks him for his help. Just as Yi-sang is about to enter, Jae-young quietly warns, “Ha-ri wouldn’t be suffering that much if she were with me. Don’t make me think things like that again. Please.”
Yi-sang joins Ha-ri, who’s now awake, just as her doctor arrives to recommend immediate surgery. When Ha-ri asks if the surgery will threaten her chances of getting pregnant, the doctor admits that after a year of recovery, Ha-ri’s fertility will have decreased even more.
Mom asks if the surgery will make it impossible for Ha-ri to have a child of her own and the doctor explains that her best chance is to have a fertility treatment right away. After the doctor leaves, Mom gives Ha-ri and Yi-sang some time alone.
Taking Ha-ri’s hand, Yi-sang reminds her, “I told you to focus on yourself if my test results don’t come out that great.” Yi-sang has to tell Ha-ri that his treatment wasn’t successful and that even if he continues, he can’t guarantee that he’ll improve. Yi-sang gently advises, “If you’re enduring your pain because you want to wait until I’m ready, just don’t.”
When Yi-sang suggests that Ha-ri should have the surgery and look for a way to get pregnant after that, she asks, “Are you okay? I’m sure you’re having a hard time as well.” Yi-sang answers, “I’m okay,” as Ha-ri squeezes his hand.
After leaving Ha-ri, Yi-sang takes Mom to a café and she worries that he wants to postpone the wedding but what he wants is for her to convince Ha-ri to have the surgery. Concerned that Ha-ri is delaying it because of him, Yi-sang overcomes his anxiety to confess, “I’m also subfertile.” After Yi-sang explains that he underwent treatment that wasn’t successful, Mom exits the café deep in thought, leaving behind a heartbroken Yi-sang.
Back at home, Ha-ri lies in bed and stares at the ceiling while Mom prepares dinner. When they sit down to eat, Mom urges Ha-ri, “You should get the surgery.” Mom explains how sorry she was that Ha-ri grew up without a father and her worry that Ha-ri would share that same regret when she decided to have a child by herself.
Mom advises, “You finally found someone nice, so I’m no longer worried about that. But you can’t force things to happen. You just need to do what you can.” Ha-ri confesses, “I did think about living without a child. But…If I give up, I’ll never get to be a mom.”
After some thought, Mom explains that when she was busy making a living, she hated her life. Looking back, Mom realizes that she couldn’t have been so miserable because she was able to do her best every day. Mom tells Ha-ri, “This might feel like a big deal to you right now, but…I know that you won’t become miserable.”
After nodding her understanding, Ha-ri forces herself to eat while Mom offers her daughter a small smile. When Ha-ri returns upstairs, she clutches the leather keychain that Yi-sang made for her with the words, “You’re right.”
The next time we see Ha-ri, she’s being wheeled into surgery. It’s not long before Ha-ri returns to work, and when she meets Yi-sang, who’s waiting for her by his car, he asks if she’s okay. With a smile, Ha-ri insists, “I feel a lot better than I expected,” but before Yi-sang can voice any concerns, she suggests, “Let’s eat something nice for dinner.”
Ha-ri surprises her staff with her early return and when Hyo-joo begs, “Please don’t immerse yourself in your work to take your mind off things.You wouldn’t be able to focus, anyway,” Yeon-ho is ready to hit her. After Ha-ri asks what she can do, Yeon-ho hands her a stack of recommended children’s books and her attention falls on the top title, My Mom.
Over at Jambi Studio, Yi-sang seems bothered as he recalls Ha-ri’s cheerful mood that morning. When Soo-chul calls the magazine and offers to drop off some photos, Yi-sang grabs them so that he can check on Ha-ri.
My Mom begins with an illustration of a baby but Ha-ri’s focus is on the text, which simply reads, “Mom.” The book follows the baby as she grows up while the text continues to repeat “Mom,” and Ha-ri’s chin begins to quiver.
Ha-ri turns to a page that depicts the volatile teenage years and on the next page, she sees a young woman on her wedding day, crying as she stands before her mother. Tears fill Ha-ri’s eyes by the time she reaches the final pages and discovers that the baby from the book’s beginning now has a baby of her own. As the new baby tugs at her mother’s skirt, the book ends with the word, “Mom.”
Her face wet with tears, Ha-ri touches the picture of the crawling baby. Burying her face in her hands, Ha-ri breaks down and Yeon-ho, Hyo-joo and Soon-yo look up when they hear her sobs. Yi-sang walks in just then and is pained to see how much Ha-ri is grieving.
This episode gives us enough back story to explain not only why Ha-ri and her mother are so close, but why she’s so determined to have a baby of her own. Some losses leave a huge void in a young girl’s heart and it seems that Ha-ri’s desire for a child is rooted in her father’s abandonment. It makes sense, Ha-ri longs for that forever kind of bond between a parent and a child that her father walked away from. However, since Ha-ri and Yi-sang are both infertile, that desire for a child of their own is a long shot that’s causing them both considerable distress.
I breathed a sigh of relief as soon as Ha-ri accepted Yi-sang’s proposal, never expecting that their relationship would be tested so soon. Almost immediately, Ha-ri had to confront her old wounds when her father walked back into her mother’s life, reminding Ha-ri of her painful past. Just as he leaves them again, as both Ha-ri and her mother requested, first Yi-sang, and then Ha-ri, are faced with medical reminders that they’re dealing with infertility issues that may not be able to be resolved.
Yi-sang was so focused on sharing Ha-ri’s dream of having a baby that he momentarily forgot that it would take a major miracle for them to become parents. Faced with his disappointing test results, Yi-sang is devastated because he finally allowed himself to dream of becoming a father. Unfortunately, Yi-sang knows that his inability to father a child means that he’s jeopardizing Ha-ri’s dream and I’m worried about how he’ll react to that realization.
I have to say, I was so impressed by Ha-ri’s mother as she confronted one challenge after another with calm strength. Mom took care of her ex-husband while dealing with her angry daughter. She handled the news of Yi-sang’s infertility and failed treatment by reminding her daughter that she can’t force things to happen. Mom has had a difficult life but it hasn’t defeated her, instead, she’s gained wisdom that could help Ha-ri as she deals with the aftermath of her surgery.
I was thankful that Ha-ri’s mother didn’t abandon Yi-sang once she learned about his infertility, and that she didn’t turn back to Jae-young as a potential partner for Ha-ri. Instead, Mom assured Ha-ri that she wasn’t worried about her anymore now that she’s with Yi-sang. No wonder Ha-ri was taken in by that book, My Mom, her mother is amazing. But both Ha-ri and Yi-sang have some serious grieving to do and that is one of the toughest challenges any couple must face, especially such a new couple. They’re going to need Mom’s levelheadedness to get through the tough days ahead as Ha-ri heals not only physically, but emotionally.