This is the third in a series of guest blog posts by the faculty of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing about the previous night’s episode of Call the Midwife airing on Sundays on NPT and PBS Stations natiowide at 7:00 p.m. Central, September 30-November 4. Check in here every Monday morning for the next six weeks for historical and contemporary context on the show, and some fun discussion. SPOILER ALERT: Some may can contain spoilers, so please be aware of that.
By Margaret Buxton MSN CNM
Who would argue that the third episode of Call the Midwife is not only about birth and babies, but about love? Jenny (Jessica Raine) finds herself caring for the wounds of an old soldier, an unlikely task but one that she asked to do because, as she is told by her mentor, that “our community needs us.” The juxtaposition of his putrid wounds and dirty flat become the backdrop of a budding friendship. Opening her heart to Joe (Roy Hudd) leads Jenny further towards connection with her own heart and what she seems to be hiding from: love. Puffing on his pipe, Joe surmises that it’s better to have loved someone and lost them (as he did his wife and sons) then to never have known love.
Mr. Lawson (John Ashton) shows a different kind of love, the unconditional love one can feel when seeing a baby for the first time. In the tense moment of realizing that this baby was not his own, he made the instant decision to not ask the obvious question and instead chose to love and accept this dark skinned son of his. The image of the tiny hand in his is the perfect expression of this selfless act of honor and caring. These types of dramas are played out on a regular basis in our current reality: unknown fathers, broken relationships, and hidden secrets. Midwives are there to hold the space for these tough moments, becoming witness to the most tender and sometimes difficult situations a person could face. The two midwives that attended Mrs. Lawson (Tessa Churchard) did not insert themselves into the moment, in silence and with respect they “held” the moment open in their hands – supporting the mother and the father. Thankfully, what they witnessed was easy to accept and rally behind. I have been in many situations much harder, but have always been in awe of power of love.
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.
Missed our analysis of Previous Episodes? Read them here.
Missed Episodes 1 and 2? Watch them online now through December 4.