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“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.”
Personal crisis, inner strength and resilience are amazing qualities that we see in the characters from Episode 4 of Call the Midwife. Shelagh struggles with seeing a way forward from her pain of infertility and works through this by reigniting the community choir. We witness a young woman who bravely faces her labor and with patience and perseverance to give birth to her gorgeous daughter. Sister Winifred moves from being unsteady without joy in her new role of midwifery to a position of inner calm, confidence and a true sense of purpose and happiness. Mrs. Reuben survived the horror of the Holocaust but then had to face an inner prison with her fear of leaving the safety of her home for 12 long years. She commented that being a midwife is truly a wonderful thing — bringing life into the world and seeing everything made new. The midwives and nuns noted her problems when they did their home visitation and connected her with help and provided psychological and emotional support. They truly addressed her mind, body and spirit. Mrs. Reuben witnessed the birth of her granddaughter. As her daughter, Leah, walked through a door to motherhood, Mrs. Reuben figuratively and literally walked through her personal pain and out her front door back into the community. Lastly, Jenny’s experienced intense emotional pain after the tragic accident and death of her boyfriend, Alec.
Early in the show Dr. Turner states, “It isn’t the end of the world. It is just the end of a road.” That comment made me think of challenges and the quality of human resilience! As a Modern Day Midwife we witness the same challenges, struggles and tragedies that we saw in this episode. We see poverty, fear, infertility, losses and abuse. But we also get to assist women and families to face these challenges and move forward.
Katie Moriarty (CNM, PhD, CAFCI) is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Nurse Midwifery education program at the University of Michigan. She has been a nurse-midwife since 1992. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Windsor, and her Master’s and PhD degrees are from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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