By Alice Gilgoff, LM
I have never lived in England, and I don't bike to work, but from the
first episode I said, "Those are my patients!" Now, by Season II, I
have come to know the midwives, and I can say, "Those are my
Who of us has not (yet) experienced the death of a newborn whose
delivery we attended? The departure of a trusted midwife from our place
of employment? The pang of knowing a patient's boyfriend or husband?
In this past Sunday's show Cynthia caught an apparently healthy
boy. When she returned for a postpartum home visit, she found the baby
dead, and the midwife was the subject of an inquiry (sound
familiar?) How did she initially react? She went to the funeral and
assisted the mother to smell the baby's blanket. And how did her
colleagues react when she was fearful of returning to births? When Jenny
Lee found Cynthia after she had run away, she said, "We believe in
you. Why can't you trust us?"
When Chummy decided to work in Africa "because God wants me to do
it," her colleagues are disappointed. But how do they send off a
midwife who is leaving the practice? With hugs and well wishes, not
anger that they may have to pick up extra shifts. How do you react?
And, finally, how do we keep our personal lives and work lives
separate? Sometimes, we can't. When Jenny Lee bumps into her former
flame Jimmy, she is put off that he is animated about concrete, but
there is still an attraction. Then she learns that he is the one who has
impregnated her patient, and the patient states they plan to marry.
How does Jenny react? How would you react? We'll see; stay tuned.
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