The World Intrudes on Birth

Last Updated by Deborah McBain on
Neal Street Productions

As an important chapter of her life soon comes to a close, Deborah McBain reflects on her time as a midwife and nurse. 

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

Spoiler Alert: This post discusses events in Call the Midwife Season 5 Episode 6

This season’s Call the Midwife has eerily mimicked my own life. Life and the world have intruded on the midwives in 1961 Poplar as 2016 life has intruded on my midwifery career. 

During this episode, the somewhat offended Phyllis Crane tells the retired Dr. Godfrey that she will consider retirement if and when she reaches the appropriate age. Ha. What is the appropriate age of retirement? 

That answer is different for everyone but after the birth of my grandchild last November, I decided the time was imminent. And after my father suffered a stroke in February, I knew I had made the right choice. 

So now I find myself entering the final month of my 43-year nursing career including 20 years of midwifery practice. The stories I could tell.

For now, I offer a poem I wrote inspired by the strength and bravery of the women I have labored with.


I’ll Journey With You

Oh yes, you may be silent.

It is fearful.

We will find voice.


Oh yes, you may moan.

It is humbling.

We will find dignity.


Oh yes, you may cry.

It is painful.

We will find comfort.


Oh yes, you may scream.

It is powerful.

We will find strength.


Oh yes, you may lose it.

It’s not gone.

 We will find it.


At last, you will laugh.

It is Joy.

We will share it.


Thank you to all the amazing women I have had the honor to care for and to work with. Below is a photo of my granddaughter, my father and myself during a visit in the hospital after his stroke.

The full-time care of my family is now where my heart lies and I am also hoping for some time to travel. The women at Nonnatus House would understand. Perhaps Nurse Crane will loan me her roof rack.

Deborah McBain (CNM, MS, BSN, RN)Deborah McBain (CNM, MS, BSN, RN)Deborah McBain (CNM, MS, BSN, RN) is a nurse-midwife who has practiced in Metro Detroit for nearly 20 years. McBain received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Science from Wayne State University-Detroit, Master’s Degree from the Case Western University-Cleveland and midwifery education through Frontier Nursing Service.
Read More About Deborah |  Read All Posts by Deborah

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