‘Call the Midwife’ Recap: Season 13, Episode 8

Call the Midwife Epsidode 8 Season 13

How quickly this season of Call the Midwife flew by! With great surprise I find myself writing the recap of the season finale – and what a jam-packed finale it was! There was good news for the Turners and lovely tributes to Violet from Reggie and Sister Julienne from the Nonnatus House team. I love that she wins the Mother of the Year competition because her compassion and empathy are a beacon to the lost, the fearful, and the lonely.

Meanwhile, Joyce – with the help of Rosalind, Nancy, and Sister Julienne – realizes that bullies like her estranged husband only respond to strength, so she bravely stands up to him, despite possible consequences to her career. Hooray for Joyce!

The statistics of intimate partner violence are staggering – one in four women will experience IPV in her lifetime, and it takes approximately seven attempts on average for a woman to leave an abusive relationship. In the modern health care system, we have slowly moved towards better screening, but unfortunately, large numbers of women remain silently suffering. As a midwife, I have provided care for women who are experiencing or have experienced IPV, and it crosses lines of race, economic status, religion and education levels.

It can be heartbreaking and difficult to provide care to these women – especially when an abusive partner is present and participatory. Finances, children, and other factors can play a huge role in why women choose to stay, so we do our best to focus on a safety plan, connect women to supportive services, and provide a safe space for disclosure. Joyce’s actions may have appeared easy, but they symbolize a twisted and difficult challenge that scores of women face.

Lastly, in this episode we learn Miss Higgins has a son, born out of a long-ago love when she lived in India, who has been raised by adoptive parents. It was sweet to step over Miss Higgins’ normal wall of propriety to learn of her adventurous youth and her longstanding love for her son. While his arrival to her is short-lived due to illness, the mutual affection and savored time was abundantly clear.

But out of all the relationships explored and illustrated in this episode, the one I found most wonderful was the friendship between Nurse Crane and Miss Higgins. By her side from the first meeting with her son to realizing he was dying, then navigating that loss while gaining a daughter-in-law and grandson, Nurse Crane provided quiet, steadfast support. There are a lot of moments that make me misty-eyed in Call the Midwife, but the image of Nurse Crane and Miss Higgins holding hands at the Mother of the Year celebration will stay with me. What a profound thing a deep friendship can be!

Una Sammon Vanderbilt Nurse Practitioner

Una Sammon, CNM, has been a practicing certified nurse-midwife since 2019. She attends births at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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