Switched Before Birth (2021 Lifetime)

Switched Before Birth (2021 Lifetime)

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Cast: Justina Machado, Yancey Arias, Skyler Samuels

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Lindsay is about to marry the man of her dreams….until the bachelorette party where everything spirals out of control. Switched Before Birth follows Olivia Crawford (Skyler Samuels) and her husband Brian (Bo Yokely), who after multiple miscarriages, numerous failed IVF trials and stretching themselves to the limit financially, finally receive the joyous news that she’s pregnant with twins. While going through her latest round of IVF, Oliva meets and becomes fast friends with Anna Ramirez (Justina Machado), who is struggling to have a child after years of focusing on her successful restaurants. When Anna becomes pregnant as well, the ladies celebrate and begin to prepare for their babies. (2021)

Recap/Wine Thoughts

Olivia Crawford and her husband Brian are trying to have a baby via IVF. (It isn’t going well, they have had two miscarriages.) Olivia’s Doctor reluctantly agrees to one more cycle of IVF because Olivia views getting pregnant like a game; she is betting all she has on this last chance.

Anna and her husband Gabe are running a successful restaurant together. Anna is the brains behind the business, and Gabe is the chef. They decide to try IVF since things are going so well. They learn that Gabe is incapable of producing a baby, and Dr. Nori suggests using donor sperm. The couple jump at the chance and start “sperm dating” (Looking at profiles of potent men)

In the lobby of the Doctor’s office, Anna and Olivia run into one another. They talk about wanting to be mothers, and when Anna starts to cry, Olivia gives her a.. dryer sheet. Both women get the IVF treatment, and both women get pregnant at the same time. The couple celebrates together at Anna’s and Gabe’s restaurant. Olivia and Anna are becoming fast friends and going through the process while bonding them quickly.

Months pass, and while shopping, Anna goes into labor early. Olivia drives her friend to the hospital and is by her side as she miscarries. Anna and Gabe are devastated by the loss. Olivia brings over a set of wind chimes so that it will remind them of their baby when the wind blows. Olivia tells Anna that she is always there for her and understands because she has been through the same thing. 

Olivia has a baby shower, and her FABULOUS GAY FRIEND IS THERE. Bernie might have stolen the show! Anna and Gabe make a surprise appearance, which is a big deal for them and is a huge gesture. Anna is a true friend. The party is understandably difficult for the couple. When Anna and Gabe return home, they argue, and it seems that the miscarriage is affecting their marriage. Later, Anna finds Gabe in a compromising situation with a female server at the restaurant. 

Olivia’s water breaks at work, and she gives birth to two babies, a boy, and a girl. Brian and Olivia are thrilled. They have been waiting so long for a baby. Raising the babies is exhausting, though. The couple sings “Shout” by Tears for Fears as a lullaby for the babies. 

While working on the baby book, Olivia notices that their son Sam’s blood type doesn’t match their blood type. Sam is not Olivia and Brian’s child. Olivia threatens to sue the Doctor and hospital because she carried someone else’s baby to term. That baby belonged to Anna and Gabe. 

Olivia and Ben legally have rights to the baby and refuse to give Sam back to Anna and Gabe. It is shocking considering what they all have been through, but I can understand since Olivia and Ben raised the baby for four months, thinking she was theirs. 

The women go to arbitration and meet to discuss things more rationally. They both offer visitation to one another, and Anna promises to take things to court because she is more successful and not afraid to spend money to get her son. Olivia files a restraining order against Anna.

At court, the judge rules in favor of Anna and Gabe. They are allowed visitation with the baby, 2 hours court-monitored visits a week. Anna and Gabe try to look like they are a loving couple even though they are separated. Once they hold the baby, though, they do seem like they are connecting as a family. 

The investigation is still ongoing to see how the mix-up could have happened. It seems that human error caused the mix-up, and there is no industry standard in labeling the specimens. These types of incidents occur more often than you would think.

More court happens, and Anna is ordered to go to therapy to deal with her anger. The therapist tells Anna that anger is a safe feeling to cover up the pain of the miscarriage she suffered. Anna forgives Gabe and invites him back home. It is a breakthrough moment for Anna.

Anna and Olivia both testify in court and give heartfelt testimonies. (Justina Machado is going for that Emmy here, she is severely underrated as an actress in the industry.) 

Olivia cries hysterically on the bathroom floor because she realizes that she doesn’t really have a case legally to keep the baby boy. The judge rules in favor of Anna and Gabe and does not grant Olivia or Ben visitation rights. They hand over the crying child in a heart-wrenching scene.

One month later, Ben and Olivia are moving on and thinking about future kids. Ben gets a new job so he can be with his family more. 

Sam has trouble adjusting to his new environment and won’t stop crying. Out of frustration, Anna goes to Olivia for help, and the two rekindle a friendship and start raising the kids together. They even through the kid’s first birthday together. 

It was a roundabout way, but the two families figure it out together and actually have a happy ending. 

There are still no government regulations for IVF treatments. 

Side Note

Minority Report: Dr. Nori, Anna, Gabe, Gail, Bernie, Judge, Lawyer, Therapist

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*** I’ve updated the rating system moving forward. Knives represent # of kills. Wine is over enjoyment (NOT a value judgment) on a 1-5 scale.

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Overall rating

Enjoyment Level: 🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine.)

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*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

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