By Neila Dorfman, LM
The second season of “Call the Midwife,” shown last Sunday on PBS, brings together - perhaps for the last time - all of the show's beloved characters: Jenny, Trixie, Cynthia and Chummy, the Sisters of Nonnatus House and the town of Poplar. Themes of sisterhood, love, loss, sorrowful endings and new beginnings - all woven together by one controlling image: that of a beautiful, multicolored blanket.
The blanket begins as a project for Sister Monica Joan, to keep her busy and out of mischief as her memory fades. Young Trixie thinks blanket squares are horribly old-fashioned and ugly. But soon Trixie, Jenny and Cynthia are all knitting squares to help Monica Joan, who cannot keep up the pace. The blanket is to go to some “deserving person” and the brightly colored squares keep popping up throughout the episode.
As always, the minutes fly by as we enjoy the unfolding stories: Jenny has found her place at last, falling in love with nursing and midwifery. And there is a new man in the picture- perhaps romantic love will find her at last-
The medical drama of this final episode centers on Chummy, one of the drama’s most beloved characters. Her friends are joyfully gathered around her, anticipating the birth of her first child. Joy turns to horror when they remove her blanket and find Chummy soaked in blood. Jenny calls for an ambulance, for possible abruptio placentae. The sisters spring into action, and Chummy is soon whisked into the operating room for an emergency caesarean section.
The tension mounts as Jenny and the other midwives hold silent vigil, waiting for news of Chummy and her baby. As they wait, they knit- each midwife and sister absorbed in stitching- each colored thread calming their fears and drawing them together.
Finally, Chummy is out of surgery. Her husband holds their baby, waiting for his wife to awaken. A blood transfusion is hanging by the bed- The midwives come in, Sister Julienne nods, and Jenny carefully opens a gift- wrapped in plain brown paper, it is the quilt –pieced together over the long night’s waiting. They place it lovingly over Chummy, and she wakes up at last to gaze upon her newborn son, her husband, and her midwife “family.”
What a powerful story. Midwives. Sisterhood. Motherhood. Family. Wow.
An abruptio placenta, or placental abruption, is a potentially life-threatening complication that occurs in about 1 in 125 pregnancies. It can cause major blood loss or even death for mother and her unborn child. To learn more: http://www.health.utah.gov/mihp/pregnancy/preged/duringpreg/Placental_abruption.htm
As the episode closes, Jenny leaves Nonnatus House to climb on the back of her young man’s motorbike. They soon speed away, through the streets of Poplar and past the dockyards which are the lifeblood of the town, and we are left to wonder- is this the end of Jenny’s life in Poplar? Will Nonnatus House be torn down? Will there be a season 3?
Thanks for reading NYSALM's "Call the Midwife" blog series! Stay tuned to our website for information on upcoming episodes of "Call the Midwife." If you have ideas for other blog post subjects, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org!