Season 3 Finale: The Circle of Life

Posted by Katie Moriarty on

The arrival of new life eclipses everything. When all goes well the room is filled with happiness and all the pain that went before is forgotten. Where there was mystery there is knowledge — where there was fear there is love.

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Endings and Beginnings

Posted by Deborah McBain on

Jenny Lee ends her career as a midwife. Chummy’s Mater, Lady Brown finds herself at the end of her life. The Turners successfully end their search for a baby. So Season 3 ends. Jeez. Sigh. Hiccup. Excuse me. Harrumph. Cough. Endings. Can. Be. Sad.

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True Midwifery Is…?

Posted by Deborah McBain on

What does it mean to be a midwife? What is true midwifery? In Episode 7 Jenny Lee returns and must maneuver the rigid routines of the London hospital maternity ward.

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Don’t Let Misfortune Find a Home

Posted by Kate Moriarty on

“The dawns were paler and the mornings cool; yet we had few thoughts of autumn or harvest — for we saw the fruits of women’s labor every day. The wheel of our year turned slowly … work was its constant driving force — as present yet as changeable as the weather. But time passed in Poplar as it did everywhere holding mysteries and secrets in its net.”

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Breathe, Baby, Breathe

Posted by Deborah McBain on

I really try to watch Call the Midwife as any other person and just let the drama unfold. But inevitably the midwife inside creeps out, and I find myself talking to the characters like an armchair quarterback. “Trixie, put that baby up on Mom’s chest!” I directed toward the TV during the birth scene in Episode 6.

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Perfection Is Not a Polished Thing

Posted by Katie Moriarty on

“Perfection is not a polished thing. It is often simply something that is sincerely meant. Perfection is a job complete, praise given, a prayer heard, it can be kindness shown, thanks offered up. Perfection is what we discover in each other — what we see reflected back ... And if perfection alludes us — that doesn’t matter, for what we have within the moment is enough.”

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Celebrate!

Posted by Deborah McBain on

Two elements in Episode 5 had me nodding my head and chuckling in recognition. The first is how so darned stressful it is when someone needs to take time off. The work doesn’t stop, babies don’t stop being born, people continue to need to be cared for.

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You Are a Warrior

Posted by Katie Moriarty on

“To the young it seems no door is closed and as if all hearts are open. Everything is possible. Love comes so easily. I loved my work and the freedom that it brought me. I loved the teeming streets, the families I encountered, and I thought the joy would last forever.”

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The Reluctant Midwife

Posted by Deborah McBain on

Although a relatively small part of this week’s episode, what spoke to me and my experience was Sister Winifred’s struggle with her role as midwife. Is there a midwife out there who hasn’t, at some point in her career, thought to herself; “What was I thinking?!” 

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Bread, Butter and Birthday Cakes

Posted by Deborah McBain on

One of the most satisfying aspects of being a midwife is being in the position to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Every midwife I know has a stack of thank you letters and baby photos from women and families whose lives they have touched. I look at my stack from time to time to remember why I am a midwife.

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Hope Is a Thing of Extraordinary Power

Posted by Katie Moriarty on

“Working as midwives in London’s East End we were no strangers to the first light or the half dark. When babies arrived we went to deliver them … it didn’t matter what the hour …”

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Our Work Was Birth — The Primal Act of a Woman's Life

Posted by Katie Moriarty on

“Our work was birth — the primal act of a woman’s life. A time fueled by instinct and by fear. Trusting our instinct can be what we fear most. Our actions are ours alone, and we must suffer their consequences.”

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Childbirth Without Fear ... and With Compassion

Posted by Deborah Mcbain on

I watched with interest and nostalgia as Cynthia lit up with enthusiasm when she discovered the concept and then power of “childbirth without fear.” I grinned in acknowledgment when the name Dr. Grantley Dick-Read was mentioned. Dr. Dick-Read was a British physician whose book “Childbirth Without Fear,” first published in 1942, was ridiculed by the medical community and relished by American women.

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Knowledge Is a Seed That Can Take Centuries to Bloom

Posted by Katie Moriarty on

“I saw a thousand dawns when I was working in the East End — a thousand fresh beginnings. Everyday a world made new. There were challenges and changes but always the sense of life forging forward — pulsing like the River Thames itself.”

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Midwifery Matters

Posted by Deborah McBain on

“Midwifery matters and caring for women matters,” says Chummy near the end of this first episode. There is good reason for her and all midwives I know to feel this way. We see it and feel it everyday.

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About the Modern Day Midwives

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