Beginnings and Endings

Posted by Andrea Altomaro on
© Neal Street Productions

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author.


The final episode of this season’s Call the Midwife left me with an overwhelming sense of melancholy and sadness. Of course, I was overjoyed for Fred, whose relationship with Violet was mended. I felt peace for Chummy, who finally discovered the proper place to scatter her mother’s ashes. While I was relieved for Trixie, that she was at last able to seek help and support for her alcoholism, I couldn’t help but have a heavy heart for all of the pain she carried with her about her childhood, feeling lonely as an adult, and of course, her broken relationship with Tom. And Patsy—oh, where to start with Patsy? The joy I felt for Patsy and Delia as they were finally going to have some semblance of a relationship (even if only behind closed doors) was ruined in an instant after Delia’s horrific bicycling accident. There are no words for the devastation Patsy must have felt when at first, she could not even get information about Delia’s condition over the phone, then when she visited and Delia did not know who she was, and finally, when Delia’s mother told her they were going to be taking Delia back to Wales.

Same sex relationships are hardly met with equality in 2015, so it is not surprising that in 1960, Patsy and Delia felt they had to keep their relationship completely private. As mentioned earlier in the season, Patsy would have lost her job as a nurse if she was open about her sexual orientation. There have been huge strides with regards to LGBTQ rights and equality since then, but I am constantly reminded how far we have to go. There are still many states that don’t protect workers against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone considers Patsy to be a wonderful nurse, midwife, and colleague, so it saddens me that people’s opinions of her might change just based on whom she happens to love.

Reflecting back on this season, Call the Midwife has continued its penchant for dealing with difficult topics, from infant loss and child neglect, to dealing with an outbreak of infectious diphtheria, and navigating the complexity of communication troubles with women that the midwives are caring for. I have yet to see any other show portray midwifery with such beauty, showing some of the rawest and most difficult times alongside the pure joy. The writers have done a wonderful job showing the midwives’ personal struggles and how it can sometimes affect their work, and vice versa. I have personally felt such a connection to the midwives of Nonnatus house that I am sad to see this season end, especially since a few questions were left unanswered. However, there is one thing I am certain about—I will be waiting on the edge of my seat for Season Five!


Altomaro_Andrea_posts.jpg Andrea Altomaro (MS, RN, CNM) has been nurse-midwife for the past three years and is currently working for the Henry Ford Health System. Before becoming a midwife, she worked as a nurse in the emergency department and also in labor and delivery.
Read More About Andrea |  Read All Posts by Andrea

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PBS and Detroit Public Television have partnered with experienced midwives to discuss their role in modern obstetrics and how things have changed in relation to Call the Midwife, which takes place in the 1950s and 1960s. Learn More