For the third season in-a-row, we are honored to have the faculty of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing back to guest blog for us each Monday morning about the previous night’s episode of Call the Midwife, airing on Sundays on NPT and PBS Stations nationwide at 7:00 p.m. Central, March 30-May 18. Check in here every Monday morning for the next eight weeks for historical and contemporary context on the show, and some fun discussion. Plus, this year we’ll have the occasional bonus blog from across the pond to get the British perspective. So be sure to check the blog TWICE on Mondays. SPOILER ALERT: Some posts may contain spoilers, so please be aware of that.
By Margaret Buxton MSN CNM
This episode reminded me again that East London in the 1950s was a community of war survivors, and the aftermath of that would be felt for generations. The unique pairing of Nurse Mount (Emerald Fennell), a sometimes harsh, all-business midwife and nurse with the sensitive war veteran suffering physically from being a prisoner of a Japanese war camp brought into view a shared space: they both had experienced the horrors of being a prisoner of war and survived. The contrast was in their attitudes. The nurse was clearly holding her pain and suffering emotionally. The patient was suffering physically but had “let go” of his prisoner experience to enjoy life.
I am continually inspired by stories of survival and intrigued specifically with the stories that come out of situations like this veteran experienced. In reading other stories of World War II survivors of Japanese prisoner of war camps, I came across story after story of what kept these men (and sometimes women) alive. They all seemed to be able to stay “in the moment” of where they were – not looking back and not looking forward to rescue. They chose instead to live each day, fight to stay alive, and find hope in the present moment. The veteran’s words to Nurse Blount at the end of the show stayed with me:
“Don’t let your misfortunes find a home.”
Helping women through childbirth is my invitation to stay in the moment; I am daily inspired by the women we serve at Vanderbilt!
Margaret Buxton, MSN CNM, is a Certified Nurse-Midwife, Instructor of Nursing, Vanderbilt School of Nursing and Clinical Practice Director, West End Women’s Health Center.
Read our Bonus British Perspective of this episode by Rachel Sykes here.
Missed our analysis of the Previous Season’s Episodes? Read them here.