‘The Good Doctor’: Shaun and Lea Need to Get on the Same Page

The Good Doctor’s Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is about to become a father. However, he’s having difficulty connecting with Lea (Paige Spara) and his unborn child. He’s struggling to overcome what feels like an impossible hurdle. How can they get on the same page?

Shaun has mixed emotions about becoming a dad

Paige Spara and Freddie Highmore
Paige Spara and Freddie Highmore | Jeff Weddell via Getty Images

The opening scene in The Good Doctor Season 4, Episode 13, (titled “Spilled Milk”) shows Shaun watching Lea sleep. He happily proclaims, “We’re having a baby.” However, Shaun’s excitement starts to wane as he sees the impact the pregnancy is having on Lea. She’s sick much of the time, and she’s not as energetic as she used to be. She has also been spending less time with Shaun because she’s focused on getting ready for the baby.

At one point, Shaun leans in to kiss Lea, but she moves away, saying the baby is making her “feel like she ate 3-month-old sushi.” Lea is also sensitive to smells. Shaun’s freshly brushed teeth, which makes his breath smell minty, causes Lea to feel nauseous. Shaun brushed his teeth because he thought they were going to have sex, but Lea wasn’t up to it.

Shaun feels lonely and disconnected from Lea and the baby

Shaun wants to help Lea feel more comfortable, so he brings her some pillows to help prevent back pain. He also suggests prenatal vitamin tablets. “Tablets are better for the fetus,” he tells her. This upsets Lea, who asks him to stop referring to their unborn child as a fetus. He tells her it is a fetus. However, Lea tells him to just “be the dad, not the doctor.”

Shaun wants to support Lea, but he doesn’t know how. Lea wants him to be a father, but the only thing he knows how to do is be a doctor. Shaun tells Dr. Asher Wolke he wishes he knew how to be connected. He feels jealous when he sees a patient who appears to be deeply connected to her partner.

Shaun tries to connect with Lea by dancing with her when he gets home. However, the swaying movement makes Lea feel nauseous. Shaun becomes frustrated and he tells Lea how he really feels about her pregnancy.

“I feel disconnected from you and the baby, which yes, you are very connected to already, but I don’t feel anything,” admits Shaun. “Because it is not a baby yet. It is a fetus. And it is making my girlfriend sick and mad at me, and I feel very alone.”

Lea responds by telling Shaun he’s being selfish. She’s trying to get ready for the baby’s arrival by going to doctor’s appointments and balancing work with not feeling well. She’s stunned Shaun would try to make this only about him. Later, she tells him not to come to her next doctor’s appointment. Shaun decides to go, and Lea appreciates the effort.

Advice for Lea and Shaun

How can Shaun and Lea truly connect? Juli Kramer, Ph.D., founder of Radiant Shenti, says it would be helpful for Shaun to not only think about the growth of body parts, but also think about the new being growing inside Lea.  

“According to Chinese medicine, a fetus is not just a physically growing organism, it is an energetic organism,” says Kramer. “Only thinking about the development of body parts makes a connection with the fetus difficult. But if the parents realize they are building a thinking, caring, loving, psychologically strong human being in different ways each month, that’s a powerful concept.”

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