Learning to Fly

Posted by Katie Moriarty on May 13, 2019
Spoiler Alert: This post discusses events in Season 8 Episode 7.
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Credit: Neal Street Productions
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author.

“Familiarity need not breed content. A new adventure or a special dress—it can render the mundane bright and the accustomed novel. Sometimes you simply see each other through fresh eyes …. and there is joy in it.”

In this episode we find out who has been performing the backstreet abortions, and it is hard to watch — we have a case of “the clap” (gonorrhea) in pregnancy, Dr. Turner and Trixie present their case for a clinic (Brook Clinic) which will assist unmarried women obtain contraception and assistance, and Sister Francis shines as she becomes more independent (with a nudge from Mother Mildred).

The realization of who has been performing the backstreet abortions was a real shock, and I feel Val’s true pain as she tries to absorb this reality. However, the storyline that I want to focus my comments on are regarding Sister Francis and how she moved into a new phase – she blossomed from being the new orientee to being an independent midwife/nurse. Mother Mildred had to nudge her and she voiced her faith and confidence in her abilities. When she says “babies come along when they feel inclined – you can only prepare— we can never predict.” I felt she was also trying to say—you cannot be observing until you see every possible scenario – you are prepared. Sister Francis had the education, training and she has a support system around her. She knew that she could fly solo. We all know that feeling of trepidation and hesitation—and we all sometimes experience imposter syndrome; but, in the end we all have to put one foot in front of the other … take a deep breath … and fly. And, as Mother Mildred reminded Sister Francis use your “most important instruments: courage and humility.”

We all have our mentors or people that we look up to and remember their wise words and draw on them when we need to. I will miss Mother Mildred and smiled when she said she would leave as she came …without fan fair with her suitcase in hand. She gave good practical advice and her words will resonate with me and I will take to heart and remember to “stay open and LISTEN”; and remember when she said “I have yet to form an opinion. I came here tonight to listen, mark, learn, and inwardly digest. I mean information and not canapes.” …. “listen to opposing points of view” and “use your initiative, use your resources.”

What can be confusing is when we have someone that we have looked up to and they fall from grace. Valerie Dyer walked into a (literal) bloody mess. The realization that her ‘gran’ is an abortionist …..and the $7 fee leaves a hole in my stomach for what may come to be….

“We can never foretell when our fortunes will turn or when the story will change. Sometimes we see each other through fresh eyes and there is no joy at all. We see what was concealed, what is shameful, what is true, and nothing familiar remains.”

About the Author

Katie Moriarty, PhD, CNM, CAFCI, FACNM, RN is a professor on faculty at Frontier Nursing University and a Certified Nurse-Midwife with WSUPG CNM Service at Hutzel Women’s Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Katie serves on the Board of Directors for the American College of Nurse-Midwives as the Region IV Representative. Previously she was the Associate Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Education Program at the University of Michigan.