We’re Shaped by the Hands We Hold and Hearts We Cherish

Posted by Katie Moriarty on
© Neal Street Productions

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


“The religious life was not one I could have chosen. To nurse is to be drawn into society, to interweave one’s life with the business of strangers. It’s about the world and flesh and what some people call the devil. To balance that with the setting a part of the heart and the quiet, closed existence of the spirit … would have been beyond me all together. But others saw the joy in that and sought to live it out. Sustained and inspired by those that heard the call before them.”


In Episode 6, I really enjoyed seeing the intensity and love for midwifery from the entire group, especially from Sister Evangelina and Cynthia. They had both been gone for a while (Sister Evangelina to recuperate from her surgery and Cynthia as she began her religious life) and yet they jumped right back in and totally immersed themselves with their clients. I enjoy how they merge public health nursing (district work) with their midwifery. When they mentioned they each would visit 12 clients on their district rounds – well, you know they are working very hard. Sister Evangelina did not even bother to go to Nonnatus House but instead just showed up at the clinic. And Cynthia really showed strength when she was working with the gypsies.

As a Modern Day Midwife, I agreed with Sister Evangelina’s statement that the joy of midwifery never fades. Just like the show we often have a heavy volume of clients to see and it can feel overwhelming. And often we are taking care of a vulnerable population where we really get to see and hear a person’s story and we get to help them as they walk along their personal path. We get to be a part of peoples’ lives in the most intimate ways where they are raw and exposed. We often meet people that we would never know if it was not for nursing or midwifery. Just like Sister Cynthia, we at times must be strong and brave and stand our ground to protect women’s rights and choices. It is an honor to be with people through these powerful transitions and passages in their lives and the simple but powerful token of the tea cup showed the mutual respect and thankfulness that bridges those differences.

“We are not defined by the things that make us separate and distinct but by the moments that we share and the memories we make. And we’re shaped by the hands we hold and hearts we cherish and gently let go.”


KatieMoriarty.jpg Katie Moriarty (CNM, PhD, CAFCI, RN) is the Director of Nurse-Family Partnership at Detroit Wayne County Health Authority and currently serves on the regional board of directors for the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Prior to her current position, Katie served as the Associate Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Education Program at the University of Michigan.
Read More About Katie |  Read All Posts by Katie

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